CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 13. . . .November 30, 2012
Mr. King's Things.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2012.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.
Review by Susan Barnabe.
Mr. King likes new things.
LOTS of new things.
Geneviève Côté, an award-winning illustrator, brings her talent to the pages of this book. The page background colours are sherbet shades that create a muted vibrancy on which she pencil sketches characters to tell a story for responsible ownership and problem solving.
Mr. King likes new things, and when he quickly tires of them, he takes them to the pond and simply throws them in. Nothing ever shows above the surface, but, when on a fishing trip, Mr. King hooks the scariest-looking thing he has ever seen. Of course, readers see the tossed items tangled into a giant fish complete with turned out umbrella as the tail. But, it is not so for Mr. King.
Côté writes in straightforward statements to tell the story; however, she uses some words completely in upper case font to encourage expression and as an opportunity for the listeners to chime in during the reading. "HELP! A MONSTER!!" is heard by Mr. King's friends who attempt to solve the mystery of the frightened Mr. King and the pile of things on the shore. All the animals display the items to tame the monster, and Mr. King sheepishly admits the items are all his. He uses the items to create inventions which are enjoyed by all his friends.
The theme of reusing and recycling can lead to discussions in the classroom and playroom as well as showing that the comfort of having good friends can help you in a crisis no matter how large or small.
Susan Barnabe is a retired teacher and certified reading clinician who lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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