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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mentor Text...What I learned from MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins

I really loved the book MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins. Higgins uses HUMOR, HUMOR, and MORE HUMOR...he's got a perfect title...he uses wonderful illustrations...but I'm going to stop gushing and focus on...

Three. Major. Take-aways.  

1.  Let the pictures fill in the details...don't tell it all with words.

2.  Throw in a bit of humor for parents, too.

3.  Add a punchline at the end.

Let me explain what I mean...

1.  The pictures play a major role in telling the story.  The text is stark...and the pictures fill in the details.

a. "He tried to make the best of it"  Pictures showing illustrations of the kiddie pool and the bear all dressed in fins, inner tube, and floaties.  The author says nothing of "how" he tried to make the best of it, but the picture "shows" it.

b. The page where the text reads "It was hard work."  The illustrations complete the humor with a messy painting scene, an eating scene in high chairs, a napping scene, and my favorite image of Bruce with a four-gosling baby carrier strapped to his chest.

c. Finally, another favorite where the text is so simple, "So he got creative." The picture shows him  using a slingshot to send them off into the great beyond.  Left me cracking up!

Now for the second takeaway...

2.  He has some sophisticated jokes in there for parents, too.  There is a part where he jokes that Bruce wanted to support local businesses, and then he asked Mrs. Goose if her eggs were free-range organic.  Also, when he asks about her about her return policy, and even his way of calling the problem "being a victim of mistaken identity." NICE STUFF!!

And last, but not least...

3.  His punchline at the end of the story is a turtle who thinks one of the geese is his mom, bringing the story full circle.  Clever!

So there you have it...great lessons from this wonderful mentor text!  And I owe it all to the PBSummit for pointing out this wonderful picture book to me.

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