Sunday, January 1, 2017

Leave Me Alone!

Leave Me Alone
written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol
2016 (Roaring Brook Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library

The old woman was at the end of her rope. 

After the holiday season, you may be echoing the sentiments of this grandmother. Living in a small house full of grandchildren can do that to you. Winter is coming (Are there Starks here? House or Tony?) and sweaters need to be knitted. With mighty mites messing with her gear, staying is not an option. Leaving behind a cacophony of kids, she heads for the forest. After building a fire, the grandmother sets about her knitting task. Unfortunately, two baby bears bounce around her yarn ball while the adult bear thinks about eating her. With one shout of her signature phrase, the old woman puts hungry bear in his place and heads up a snow covered mountain. Finding a cave, you would think she would be able to purl in peace. Think again. Meddlesome mountain goats treat her yarn balls like lemon drops while she furrows her brow. Once again on the move, the old woman goes from the mountain to the moon. Surely, this is a setting where work can be accomplished. No. Aggravating aliens needle her endlessly. So where do you go from there? How about a wormhole? Oh yeah, she just went there. Now being able to mend in muteness, she finishes in a flourish. But then a curious thing happens to alter her course once again.

Haven't we all had times where we needed a little space? Readers will be able to relate to the old woman who just wants to knit. In the classroom, this would be a funny way to address the issue of personal space. I could also see an engaging lesson on sequence happening here as well. Another path you could take would be to talk about how characters change in a book. I love when the text and illustrations harmonize in their humor. This is a truly funny book that your class will enjoy.

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