Looking Like Me
by Walter Dean Myers*, illus. Christopher Myers
Jeremy looks in the mirror and sees all the things that make him himself: a brother, a son, a runner, a dancer...
Every once in a while I read a book to my kids and think, "Oh, I wish I had a classroom full of kids right now." If I were still teaching, I would snatch up Looking Like Me and we would read it alongside George Ella Lyon's fantastic poem "Where I'm From" (read it here). And we would write our own poems of what we see and where we're from, and we would study Christopher Myers collages and talk about how we are all collages, really, of all that makes us us, and then we'd make our own collage self-portraits and...
My kids enjoyed it. The verse is fun to read and there's a chance on each page to yell "Bam!" and give a fist-punch. But man, if I were a teacher, the fun we would have.
I know it's cheating to start with the Myers family. It's not like the genius of Walter Dean Myers is a hidden gem none of you know. But considering I decided to do this project exactly three minutes before I told you about it, I had to go with what I had around unexplored. And if you haven't read any Walter Dean Myers, go -- go now and buy Monster or Sunrise Over Fallujah, or any of them really, and settle in for some brilliance.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010