Monday is One Day from author Arthur A Levine and illustrator Julian Hector is written as a message from a parent to a child. It starts out with the line: “the hardest part about going to work is being apart from you”, which is a sentiment that many parents feel when they leave their children. The story then goes through the week day by day and talks about the activities that occur from Monday to Sunday. When the weekend finally comes around, the parents of the many different families get to spend precious time with their kids.
The book is very colorful and eye catching. Julian Hector uses large splashes of primary colors and characters with simple faces, all of which combine to give an almost cartoony feel to the pages. Each two page layout features a single line of text with a large, detailed picture to allow the reader to see the fun activities that are participated in each day.
This fun and colorful book is great for preschoolers and young children who spend a lot of time in daycare (which is a large majority these days). Long days away from mom and dad make young children homesick and this book is a great reminder that their parents are missing them as well and they will be reunited soon. Monday is One Day also offers great opportunities for group conversations and discussions. After the story is over, children can talk about all of their favorite activities they do with their parents after school and on the weekends. Additionally, art projects can be created by the children on their favorite family activity. For example, if it were me, I would draw a picture of my entire family around the dinner table. Another learning aspect that comes from this story is teaching about days of the week. Creating fun rhymes for each day of the week and associating it with an activity can help children better remember the days in order. Readers can also make up their own activity for each day of the week.
An interesting aspect about the illustrations Hector chose to use is the wide variety of family structures. There are single parents, older parents (perhaps grandparents), mom and dad, and two dads. There are different races and sexes among the children in the story as well, making sure that children who read this story can relate to at least one of the families depicted. Taking a bold step, he chose to include a homosexual couple, which I applaud. Most children never encounter a same-sex couple in their books at such a young age and rather see the same white, heterosexual couple depicted over and over again. Hector brings a fresh, new perspective to the world of children’s literature and it’s about time.
Monday is One Day is a fun read for parents and their children to share together.
Bryan and Tori