Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Read All About It!"

Read All About It!--Tyrone Brown is a pale, freckle-faced boy with unruly hair in this charmingly illustrated offering from Laura Bush and Jenna Bush. Tyrone is not a fan of reading. When his teacher reads aloud from various books, he finds other things to do, such as drawing on his shoe or making paper airplanes. One day, Tyrone sends a paper airplane flying into the chalkboard and realizes none of the other students have even noticed, so enthralled are they by the book in Ms. Libro's hands. He narrates, "So I listened. And the strangest thing happened: I actually liked story hour. And then my whole world turned upside down..." (emphasis Tyrone's). During further storytimes, as he begins to pay more attention, characters begin to appear in the classroom, drawing the attention of the students. This device culminates in the pig from Charlotte's Web taking up residence in the classroom. When Ms. Libro finishes the book, the pig disappears. Tyrone and his friends go looking for him all over the school.

I liked the look of the illustrations by Denise Brunkus, but I had an issue with certain of the details. Ms. Libro has a book list on her board. The list is different on every page, which is great. What is not great is the age-inappropriateness of the titles, given the apparent age Ms. Libro's class. They appear to be in about third or fourth grade, and Tyrone is shown doing basic Algebra in math class. So why do "Clifford the Big Red Dog," Curious George," "Frog and Toad Together," "The Cat in the Hat," "If You Give a Pig a Pancake," and "Olivia" appear on the lists? They are all fine, fine books. Classics even. Don't get me wrong. But what are they doing on a book list for third-graders?

Other than that nit-picking detail, I thought the book was a very nice read and fun to look at.

No comments:

Post a Comment