Just Another Ordinary Day was a short-listed book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. It is a highly imaginative picture story book. However, the imaginative side does not come from the words themselves, but from the juxtaposition of the words and the illustrations. You’ll have to see for yourself…
Amanda wakes to just another ordinary day and goes about her ordinary activities (getting ready for school, going to school etc.) The fun part is that the pictures in the book, depict a life that is anything but ordinary. There are genies and flying suits and dinosaurs driving cars and bugs as teachers.
It might be an ordinary day for Amanda, but it is most definitely not by our standards!
Why I love it:
This is a fun book and what I love about it is that it automatically gives me a few great lesson ideas: read the book first to the children, without showing them anything other than the front cover. Ask them to illustrate 3 events from Amanda’s day.
Then read the book again, this time showing them the pictures.
This would be an excellent lesson in context and the need to know the full story about something before conclusions can be made. It’s also a great starting point for a discussion about how we ‘read’ illustrations just as much as words and how this then relates to ‘reading’ people – body language, tone etc.
You could also have a great conversation about whether or not they think the events in Amanda’s day are real or in Amanda’s imagination.
There’s so much to be done with this book!
Themes to discuss with your child:
- ‘Ordinary’ and what this means to different people
- Story telling
- Getting the full story
- Imagination versus reality
- Body language
- The power of illustrations
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- What do you think the medal on the cover means? Does this influence the way you feel about reading the book?
- What is the girl on the cover, doing?
- What do you think she is thinking? What makes you think this?
- Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
- Did the pictures surprise you?
- Did the pictures match the words?
- Do you think this was really ‘just an ordinary day’ and Amanda imagined it, or do you think all the incredible things really happened to Amanda?
- Describe an ordinary day for you.
- Do you think your ordinary day might be different to someone else’s? How do you think they might differ?
- If you hadn’t seen the pictures in this book, would you still have enjoyed it? Why/Why not?
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