From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-This book's gentle but direct approach to creative writing may not appeal to all youngsters, but it may help some students to address some common struggles and to find their own voices. Through free-verse poetry, Wong targets a group of youngsters looking for good topics for a writing assignment. "You want it to be good, to make us cry or bust up laughing when the room is quiet." They are encouraged to look around, and not to be discouraged by the worldliness or experiences of others. "Wait. Did you forget who you are? Who else can say what you have seen? Who else can tell your stories-." A photo albumlike page shows a variety of pets, holidays, hobbies, vacations, and family outings that could be possible topics. "Reach inside. Write about the dark times. -Write about the bright times. -Take your mind for a walk back to this morning, back to yesterday-." Examples are given of parents fighting, a wet library book growing mildew, childhood fears of storms, and taking out the trash. For "Weave them together- half of Draft 1, a word from Draft 4, a whole line from number 5. Try. Because you have to write, and you want it to be good," the illustration shows each child laying out stretches of many drafts on the floor. The simple realistic gouache paintings are rather ordinary but appropriate for the "writing from life" philosophy that is espoused.Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. It's the dreaded class task: write something! "You have to write. You hate to write." Wong's poetic text, which encourages kids to use their own experiences, is practical and also sometimes amusing. The with-it rhymes set the tone while gouache illustrations depict four diverse kids as they sift through the advice, thinking and envisioning. One scene shows the students at their desks picturing different locations they might write about. A variety of page compositions effectively exemplify various choices by using overlapping scenes and albumlike framed images. "Take your mind for a walk" and "think about the plain, the everyday." The direct, you-can-do-it approach will stimulate kids to write and also help them with that dismaying assignment. Lots of classroom teachers will find this a great motivator. Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved