Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill and illustrated y Laura Huliska-Beith

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith is a book that I previously had never heard of. I decided to pick a book at random that stood out to me on the shelf. The cover was bright, colorful, and the title sparked my interest.
Mean Jean was the recess queen until the day that Katie Sue joined the school. Everyone had previously been afraid of Mean Jean, but Katie Sue was not fazed by her. Although Katie Sue was teeny-tiny, she was not scared of Mean Jean. This could originally be assume that was because she did not know about her. Well, even after Mean Jean made herself perfectly clear (she was queen), Katie Sue told her off! In fact, after she asked why she was so bossy, she asked her to play with her! They became good friends and the other kids no longer had problems with Mean Jean at recess. All she needed was someone to play with and be her friend in order for the problems are recess to be resolved. I think this sends a great message. Sometimes the people who bully and boss others do so because they don't know how else to receive attention from their peers.
This book would be great for readers who wanted a book with some of the same words found on each page. I liked the repetition. Also, the text seemed to have a nice flow as I was reading. The language was very playful as well (zingity-zing, ringity-ring). On most of the pages there was a slight rhyme that helped contribute to the flow of the book (awesome!). The rhymes were fun and it would be a great read aloud book in the classroom.
The illustrations caught my attention from the start because of the cover. Well, the bright colors and fantastic cartoon-like pictures continued to impress me as I continued reading. Some of the text would be enlarged to emphasize a point or staggered to influence how it was read, and those were great elements that the illustrator used to her advantage.
I am so glad I picked this book from the shelf. It was a great book, and it sent a subtle message that was incorporated with a fun plot that many children relate to while at school. The illustrations really made the story come alive and contributed to the fun flow and impacted how I felt about the book.

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