Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"If You Take A Mouse To School" by Laura Numeroff

"If You Take A Mouse To School" by Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by Felicia Bond
Published 2002
ISBN 0-439-44260-5

                                 "If You Take A Mouse To School" by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond is one of many in a series of "mouse books" that are written and illustrated in such a way, it allows the children to complete the sentences on each page. It also makes the kids predict what will happen next. This is a great example in my opinion of a "pattern book". Laura Numeroff does an excellent job making children understand the pattern that will follow each of the mouse's activities in his day at school with this little boy.
                                The story starts out asking the question "If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunch box". Then the question that follows asks the child to predict what would happen once you give him your lunch box. By the picture that follows, the answer is that he will want a sandwich. As this little mouse follows this boy around on his journey throughout that day at school, the book illustrates and explains clearly that this mouse is very mischievous character who gets himself in some trouble because he literally jumps from one thing to another during his day with the little boy.
                                Another example of "pattern" in this wonderful picture book is the fact that the illustrations alone by Felicia Bond, clearly could guide children to what will happen next, even if they can't quite predict it as you are reading the story to them. This book may not rhyme or have a "sing-song" quality to it, but it has it's own melody to your ear as you can guess what could possibly happen now to this mouse and little boy just by also looking at the pictures.
                                 Another example I wanted to point out was when the mouse uses up all the pencils as he seems to be writing his own book, and when he is done, I usually ask my class at this point in my own classroom "what do you think class the mouse will do after he is done writing?" I will then show them the picture of the mouse reading the book he wrote to the class as my students say the words out loud.
                                  My class of pre-k students love the Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond books. The books are easy enough for my class to know what will happen next whether it be with a mouse like this series, a pig or a moose like the other books she wrote. I get such a kick out of my students as they laugh so hard when they see each picture. The bright and colorful illustrations make it fun and easy for my kids to figure out the story as the book goes on. I usually create a bulletin board of an actual mouse made out of construction paper. The kids usually, depending on the book in the series I decide to read them, make whatever object the book refers to a lot. For example, if I were reading "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie", the kids would make their own cookies out of whatever materials I give them.
                                  I enjoy the Laura Numeroff  books and Felicia Bond's illustrations greatly, and recommend these series books because they are both educational and entertaining pattern children's books. Sometimes as a teacher, I think with these particular readings, you can make your class finish their own predictions to the story. They can help be little coauthors as they create the following page of the story book.

1 comment:

  1. Deborah, I think that your choice of "If You Take a Mouse to School" is an excellent one to represent a picture book. It certainly is a pattern book and easy enough for little ones to follow the rhythm. I think that allowing the children to guess what will happen by following the pictures in the story is a great example of an interactive read aloud. I agree that "If You Take a Mouse to School" doesn't have a sing song quality to it, however, I think that it does have a specific rhythm -- "if you take a mouse to school, he'll want a lunchbox. If you give a mouse a lunchbox, he'll want a sandwich." I think that this rhythm and repetition is important for children who are just learning to read or even just listening to a read aloud in the classroom.

    Last year in my classroom our "theme" for our bulletin boards was "If You Bring a Mouse to School" so hearing about your cutouts was a great anecdote. I really connected to you through those images because I remember cutting out the same shapes! I think that your idea to integrate the book into art projects is a great use of time and an interdisciplinary lesson which so important with the time that children are allotted for each subject in today's world.

    I think that your choice was a wise one and your blog shows that you really thought about the ways in which "If You Bring a Mouse to School" exemplifies a picture book. I think that it is a good idea that you defined what a pattern book was and that you used specific examples of lines from the book. I also liked that you mentioned other stories by the same author that have similar patterns and picture to text references. I think that this is a good source for someone who wanted to know more about these types of books. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on "If You Bring a Mouse to School."