CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 2 . . . .September 15, 2006
Based on the traditional nursery rhyme “There was a crooked man,” this picture book, written by Margaret Wild, retells the story of the crooked man, his crooked cat, his crooked mouse and most importantly, his crooked little house! As the story unfolds, the house is standing right on the edge of a railway track. Every day as the train roars by, the little crooked house shakes and rattles. Fearing that the house will be “shaken to bits,” the crooked man decides to move. The little crooked house heaves itself up and journeys far away to a desert!
The saga of the little crooked house continues as the little crooked man finds problems with each new location: the desert (too much sand) and the river (too much water). Eventually, the little crooked house comes to a city and sits itself down between two big houses where the crooked man and his crooked animals finally find safety!
Wild’s version puts the focus on the house and its surroundings. As each new location causes problems for the crooked man, his cat and his mouse, the house picks itself up and moves to a new location! The story is told in a lyrical style which will definitely appeal to young children. The repetition and sound effects will make the story come to life. This story would be particularly useful for teachers as a read aloud. Students could also participate in a shared reading experience.
Myra Junyk is the former Program Co-ordinator of Language Arts and Library Services at the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Currently, she is working as a Literacy Advocate and Author.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.