December 18, 2014

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not.) by Peter Brown

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:46 am by suebe2

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not.)
by Peter Brown
Little Brown and Company

Bobby had a problem where school was concerned, and her name was Ms. Kirby.  Ms. Kirby clomped along ordering everyone out of her way.  Ms. Brown roared especially when Bobby threw paper airplanes in class.  Ms. Brown was clearly a monster.

When he wasn’t in school, Bobby liked to go to the park.  One day he was on his was to his favorite spot, when he came across Ms. Kirby sitting on a park bench.

This is where the story gets really good because of the clues in Brown’s ink, watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations.  It is clear from the start that neither Bobby or Ms. Kirby are thrilled to have run into the other, but they tough it out and try to share this space that is obviously special to both of them.

Early in the story, Ms. Kirby is a t-rex look-alike with a big green head.  As she and Bobby share the park and their interests with each other (complete with paper airplane flying), first Ms. Kirby’s snout looks a little pink.  As her face pink’s up, her snout shrinks.  By the time they part ways, she is obviously a woman and not a monster.  Not that all conflict between the two is over, but from this point on each has a better understanding of the other.  This is the kind of play between story and clues found in the illustrations that you can only get in a picture book.

This book would make an excellent jumping-off point for discussing getting along, misunderstandings and assumptions.  Brown’s dedication pretty much says it all, “To misunderstood teachers and their misunderstood students.”

–SueBE

 

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