More Parts will “crack you up”

July 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

More Parts written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold; published by Dial Books for Young Readers, New York; 2001.

Poor kid.  Folks around him are using idioms.  He doesn’t get any of it.  Will his heart really break because of his broken truck?  Does his friend’s sister really cough up a lung all night long?  All these frightening phrases have this protagonist hiding out in his room, just to be safe.

Just like Arnold’s first picture book about idioms, Parts (as seen on the boys bed in this sequel), this book is a perfect introduction for discussions about idioms.  Whether talking about them as a class, or one-on-one with an autism-spectrum child, Arnold’s humor will tickle your funny bone and better explain the strange way we use words.

Arnold’s colored pencil and watercolor washed images walk a fine line between reality and a weird parallel universe–perfect for an exploration of the wacky way we use words.  The images depict the literal interpretations of the sayings and are funny in a slightly disturbing way.  There are a thousand words in these pictures! 😉

I’ve used this book, and its predecessor, in read-alouds with students in grades K-5.  It’s interesting to watch who is laughing and who does not get it.  Most vividly, I notice it’s the kids on the autism-spectrum that laugh the hardest.  I understand that anything less than literal can be tricky for kids on the spectrum, so Arnold’s books should be on the list of must-reads for teachers and support staff (especially speech-language pathologists) in order to further discuss idioms, their usage, and maybe to create scripts for reacting to idioms.

Don’t forget: Arnold has three titles in the Parts franchise to choose from (Parts, More Parts, Even More Parts).  I think you’ll use them all to “anchor” your picture book collection.


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