Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Books Beat Boredom
Said Amanda (of Amanda and Her Alligator) wisely. Amanda is Mo Willems' newest character, along with her alligator...and penguin. Willems is one of my favorite children's picture book author/illustrators. First graders did an author study of Mo Willems, learning to draw the pigeon and create mixed media illustrations in a Knuffle Bunny-esque style. Amanda and Her Alligator with its mini chapters was an interesting deviation. I felt like I got to read 6 1/2 books instead of one, and I enjoyed the alligators surprise, post thinking cap. The illustrations are simple, and yet convey a great deal of emotion. I enjoy that Amanda spends time at both the library and the zoo. The book titles were very clever. For example, my husband (a rock climbing instructor) would appreciate "Climbing Things for Fun and Profit," and as a reader, I appreciated Amanda's reading stance (upside down, with one leg kicked in the air). I have always enjoyed Willems' books, but as a librarian, reading them repeatedly to different classes, helped me to notice new details, so I know that upon multiple readings of this book, I will find new details as well. Don't forget to look for the pigeon.