Winner Wednesday: Go Away, Big Green Monster!

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For this week’s Winner Wednesday, I have chosen Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberly. Not only is this book perfect with Halloween coming up, but it is also a childhood favorite.

The book makes for a fun interactive read for children of younger ages and of older ages as well. Each page reveals a different part of the monster in a way that makes the reader excited to turn the next page and see what comes next. The enjoyment that children get from reading this book make it no wonder that it won the Parent’s Choice Award in 1993. This award is given to the book that can be read to children of all ages and from different backgrounds with varied skills and interests. Despite winning the award 25 years ago, this book is still being made, showing the relevance that it still holds in the literacy world. The lessons and skills that it teaches are timeless in any day and age.

The story starts off with just the yellow eyes of the big green monster, and slowly adds body parts/extremities to the creatures as it goes on. I can remember my heart beating faster and faster as a child as the anticipation crept through me of what the final product of the monster would look like. The story does not end with the complete image of the monster, but rather then goes through stages of deconstructing the creature. This gives power to the reader as they feel as though they are defeating the monster themselves.

The anticipation that comes with turning each page makes it entertaining for reading out loud to very young children and for emerging readers to read on their own. I even felt a smile creep up on my face as I read through the story, having to slow myself down to reveal what came next. Thus, this could be used when teaching children to learn how to control their pace of reading. It is challenging to not flip through this book rather quickly, and children will have to concentrate to read it slowly and carefully.

The illustrations are abstract and straight forward, which also makes children focus on the text. The text directly aligns with the pictures, which helps enforce the skill of using context when coming across unknown words. Younger children can start to pick up on context skills and older students can practice the strategies that they have learned. Overall, this book provides for a fun and interactive introduction to literacy that can be used for both younger and older children.

-Lucy Brumfield

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