In One Ear, Out the Other
written by Michael Dahl; illustrated by Migy
(Picture Window Books) 2011
Source: Mebane Public Library
Bud the monster is not hard of hearing. He just chooses not to listen. His family and his teacher try their best to get him to follow directions, but Bud wanders aimlessly doing his own thing. When Bud doesn't follow through, they say in an exasperated manner, "It's like words go in one ear and out the other." One day, Bud finds out that there are consequences to not being a good listener. He can't find socks to go on his four cold feet since he didn't listen to his mother and put the dirty ones in the laundry basket. He's hungry since he didn't listen and missed dinner. Even his goldfish has hit the tracks to find a better owner since Bud doesn't remember to feed him. Finally, his family has left the house to attend a party whose invitation went in one of Bud's ears and out the other.
Listening is an important skill to teach students and In One Ear, Out the Other would be a fun and sneaky way to teach it. Migy's cartoonish monster illustrations are just right to lighten the touch on this important life lesson. Sometimes you need humor and not heavy-handedness to teach a child. This book would also be a superb addition to a collection of read aloud books on the five senses or as part of a unit on figurative language. In the upper grades, students could generate their own stories based on an idiom. Perhaps writing about a time when it rained cats and dogs or how the cat got your tongue. The possibilities are endless.
Other reviews of In One Ear, Out the Other:
Read It Again, Mom!