Monday, October 25, 2010

If You Take a Mouse to School

Written by Laura Numeroff, Illustrated by Felicia Bond
Children’s Picture Book: K-2
Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)

Summary: This story details the life of a mouse as he is taken to school and the crazy outcomes of such an act.

            Compared to some of the other books written by this author (If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, etc.), this story does not make quite as much logical sense. While the story is very cute and entertaining, I had a difficult time finding the connection between the activities and pages. There was not the same kind of flow that exists in some of the sister stories. What I did find effective though, is the main character, the mouse. I found that the mouse was a very dynamic character, one that is funny and very easy to relate to. I think that in general, young children might be able to better relate to such a story, for the activities are constantly changing, as the thought process is based upon an overinclusive attention. The mouse is partaking in one activity, and suddenly, distracted by another, switches his focus very frequently. For many children in school, this experience is one that they can relate to.
            This would be a great story to read to children during a writing minilesson. The format of the story is unique, and is a style of writing that young children might want to pursue.  This would also be a time to introduce the other stories by Laura Numeroff, exposing the children to various stories that are formatted in the same manner. I could see young elementary students writing pieces that are formatted similarly to this one, with each activity connecting to the next. It would be an activity that would likely take some scaffolding and exploration, but is an idea that the students might enjoy. The illustrations are very dynamic and informative, and with little text, this would also be an interesting story for emergent readers. It is a book that might captivate their interest as they continue reading to find out just what this silly mouse might do next.  

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