Presenting ‘My father the great pirate: teachers’ notes‘, by yours truly, published by Australian Standing Orders & Wilkins Farago, 2014. In support of the picture book by Davide Cali & Maurizio Quarello, and including this digital story on PhotoPeach as an example of a practical learning activity I brainstormed with Stage 2 and Stage 3 students a few months ago:
When I was testing the book out with our Stage 3 students, even the Stage 2 students were intrigued, although they only really discussed the red symbolism throughout, not the stronger themes about war/unrest in the Gaza Strip, but they came up with this digital slideshow:
I trust Libby Gleeson implicitly and I know Armin Greder’s more confronting illustration work from both “The island” and “The city”. If people thought they were ordering a sequel to Gleeson & Greder’s “Big dog”, they’ll certainly be in for a surprise. I did see “I am Thomas” in the bookshops recently, riffled it, and figured it was a picture book aimed more at secondary students – one to keep on a special shelf for teaching purposes rather than for open borrowing.
Last night, I emailed Libby Gleeson, author of the book, for some insights into its theme and purpose. People on the teacher librarian listservs have mentioned that it is included in the current Australian Standing Orders secondary list. Libby is happy for me to reproduce her email on the blog.
“It is a dark book in that it deals with the dilemmas of some kids growing up and trying to find themselves in a world of conformity.
“For some people that is a real challenge and it isn’t appropriate for little kids. But the notes offer terrific insights and ways to work with the book in classrooms. I notice ‘Magpies’ called it ‘a masterpiece’. Thank you Maurice Saxby!
“Thanks again for letting me know about [the TL enquiries on the listservs]… Libby.”
So there you go. Straight from the horse’s mouth. So to speak. Thanks Libby! Fast response! Much appreciated.