Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Frankie Stein


Boy, deconstructionism makes for great reading. I actually don't know that much about deconstructionism or post-modernism (Apparantly, I don't even know how to spell them, but my spell-check isn't giving me any good options). But isn't one of the things to take an accepted archetype and turn it around to create some sort of absurdity? All of those fractured fairy tales, for example.

One day a librarian friend told me an applicant she interviewed that day said that someone had once asked him for post-modern children's books. We quickly tried to come up with a list. Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen was our best example (It might offend you, which is a good indication you got the right one). I also like Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She was Extinct. Anybody know any other good ones?

In Frankie Stein, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry, Lola M. Schaefer takes an archetype (what it means to be a monster) and turns it around. Frankie is a Wednesday Adams type. He worries his family because he is just too cute.

Oh, he tries. He lets his parents plaster his face with ugly markings. He wears ill-fitting clothing. He practices his scary face and scary walk.

In the end he figures out a way to be his own kind of scary. After cleaning up, and hugging and kissing his parents, they decide he is definitely the scariest Stein of all. Until his sister is born, and you wonder if the Steins have a defective gene or something.

It's a little early for Halloween, but you could probably read this book and chuckle any time of the year.

So I've been reading a lot about early literacy development for my internship, and I'm thinking there's a lot of good information to share. So from now on, I'll try to include an:

Early Literacy Tip of the Day:

When you're reading one of those books with very little text, especially a jazzy one, try clapping out the words or the syllables. A great book I've heard done like this is Tanka Tanka Skunk. This little game builds phonological awareness, which is the ability to distinguish the sounds within words. It's an early step toward learning how to read.

This is from Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library

1 comment:

Tom and Nicole said...

Edwina is a great book. Love it!