Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: 19 Girls and Me

19 Girls and Me
by Darcy Pattison
Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Children’s picture book

Can girls and boys be friends? Author Darcy Pattison has a fun time considering that question in 19 Girls and Me, the story of a very unusual kindergarten class. If you’re looking for a funny story for a school age child, this story is a terrific choice.

Mrs. Ray’s class has nineteen girls and one lone boy, John. When they go out for recess each day, John is determined not to play any sissy games. As the days go by, the games John and his classmates invent together grow more and more imaginative and begin to attract the attention of others. How will John react to being seen playing with nineteen girls?

Read it the first time to enjoy the story and playful illustrations. Then read it again to practice counting to twenty or to notice details in the illustrations, like the way Mrs. Ray’s chalkboard foreshadows events in the story or how black and white images are contrasted with color ones. This book also provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on and discuss stereotypes about girls and boys. If you like this story, try The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman, also by Darcy Pattison.

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