Thursday, June 12, 2014

What We Are Reading: The Block Mess Monster

Have I got a book for you!

I bought this book a few years back, I skimmed through it decided it was not lesson plan material, and threw it in my late spring/early summer bin for our class bookshelf. I picked that time of the year because most of my class has turned 3 by then and I thought the concepts in the story and language were better suited for 3 year olds.

What book am I talking about?
A New Favorite!

The Block Mess Monster by Betsie Howie, illustrated by C. B. Decker, has become a class favorite! Not just my class of toddlers, but from my 2.5-5 years old. The kids LOVE this book. The younger ones love the pictures (as do I) and the older ones really seem to feel for the main characters plight. I have been reading this book multiple times a day to a fascinated and giggling crowd for two weeks. It is not getting old. I love to read it, and they love to listen. Animal even tells me at home he is Calpurnia. 

This story is about Calpurnia, her mother, and the block mess monster. A monster made of blocks that is keeping our protagonist from cleaning her room and her mother who cannot see this creature (only the giant mess) and who is loosing patience, fast.

I really enjoy the back and forth the mother and daughter have. It's really all of us parents, loosing our cool at some point after having nagged, all day? all morning? for our children to do just one simple thing. To clean up their toys. Only told from the perspective of the frustrated child, because let's fast it, it's hard not to be understood by the adults (well meaning as we might be). 

What parent hasn't been here?

The kids just crack up at the this marvelous (dare I say accurate) portrayal of the mother at her wits end. The best part of the story, is that in the end the mother figures out how to help her daughter and Calpurnia feels heard. It's really what we all want. I highly recommend this book and believe me I'll be looking for this book in hardcover come Christmas for my own little one!

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