as facebook posts are full of my friends’ kids heading to kindergarten (is my college roommate’s daughter really that old?!?!), i thought it appropriate to review ellen fischer‘s (2015) if an elephant went to school (Mighty Media Press) today.
an engaging read-aloud complemented by laura wood‘s BEAUTIFUL illustrations, younger readers may find the book more humorous than adults (which is TOTALLY FINE!). i felt the book a little too preachy at times and felt readers (even the littlest ones) would have appreciated a less “teachy” tone. perhaps younger readers will be soothed by the repetitive nature but i felt the book was a little too predictable, and i think children could have handled more language variety. those interested in writing for children might have discussions around how the repetitive nature of the book affects younger and older readers differently. do younger readers need routinized lines and scenes in a way older readers do not?
another writerly aspect fischer’s book raises is how children’s book authors convey very real human feelings in their animal characters, creating a sense of separation between the (often little) humans for whom they are writing and the animals. discussions about how authors mask human emotions with animal characters might be a meaningful one.
would love to hear what you think of this text in the comments below!