Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Less is more – Part 1

Its fantastic when I come across seemingly ‘simple’ picture books that are ‘nice’ but when you really think about them - WHAM! POW! GOTCHA!

Over the next three postings I’ll go over three of my favs and explain why I think there’s so much more going on than might be seen at first glance.

Here’s the first:

Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (823 W666D PIC BK).  Not a lot of text and the illustrations are incredibly simplistic (a five-year-old could draw them, right?).  But who can’t help but love the humour that comes with recognizing kids we know or even ourselves as we try to wheedle our way.  Such high drama as we beg, plead, bride, threaten, stomp, guilt, and irritate to get what we want.
What a great inclusion in a language arts unit (and not just for the wee tots) looking at
                -humour (Why is this book funny?  What makes us laugh?), 
                -feelings (Do we feel sympathetic/empathetic for Pigeon?
                -identifying the emotions. (Act them out.),
                -writing dialogue or a persuasive pitch
                -interplay between illustrations and text
                                (How do these work together?)
Just a few ideas.

I use Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus as a read aloud with MT students (university-level student teachers) who chuckle, smirk and guffaw their way through the book as they enjoy the story.  So, if adults are laughing, I ask you, who wouldn’t enjoy this one?


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