Thursday, June 28, 2012
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Rating: 4 stars
Well here's a little slice of heaven: Sam the mouse lives in a library. All night long, when the library is dark and quiet, Sam reads and reads and reads. And then he reads and reads some more. (Hmmm...now how can I do that for a year or so, and get caught up on all the books I'd like to read...??)
Finally, he realizes it is time to write his own book! "Write what you know," he remembers reading from a book on how to write. So he writes about being a mouse. He gets paper from the librarian's desk and poses in a little compact mirror and draws his reflection to illustrate his pint-sized (or rodent-sized) book.
When he's finished, he tucks his book in the appropriate section in the library--the biography/autobiography section. When the book is discovered by book-lovers by day, a hunt begins for the author. The librarian writes a note asking the mystery author to appear and teach her and the kids the secret of writing. Sam is much too shy to come out in front of people, so he makes dozens of pint-sized books--blank this time--and puts his mirror at the bottom of a shoebox. To the shoebox he attaches a sign: "Look here to meet the author." When a child peers in, he sees himself.
Aha! Point: Everyone can be an author!
This is the best book I've found to encourage kids to write their own books. We are trying to keep a summer journal, but Lorelei gets interested about writing her own book from time to time. Since she can only spell about a dozen words by herself, it'd be a me-filled endeavor... And with two other kids, well, I often don't have as much time to spare as she needs. BUT we can do picture-only books, so we try those and then add the words when I have the time to sit down with just her. Ben is just starting to write his own name, but he has plenty of ideas and words to share, which he normally does from morning to night!
Definitely a book worth checking out, especially if your child might just need one more tiny nudge to have the courage to write her own book. Maybe I'll reread it and muster up some courage of my own...
And here's a video of Ben reading Library Mouse...with a cameo (or spotlight-takeover) from his little brother... (the first time I wrote this I posted a video of my kids dancing...oops!)
Also, there are three other books in this series. We've read Library Mouse: A Friend's Tale and Library Mouse: Adventure at the Museum. They are both fine; we like checking out all books in a series like this so Lorelei can read one after another, I can read one after another to Ben. I like the Museum one a lot because Sam has a friend, Sarah, who is "an explorer," and rather than write books, they write in journals...about their adventure at the museum.