My Storee: Just Because You Can’t Spell Doesn’t Mean you Can’t Write
Paul Russell, Author
EK Books, Fiction, Oct. 2, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Dyslexia, Spelling, Reading, Writing stories, Creativity
Opening: “Storees keep me awaik at nite and counting sheep neva helps becos I no a grand adventur is allways waiting four me at the end ov my pencil.”
A boy has a big imagination and loves to write down his stories. He writes about unicorns, dragons laying rainbow eggs, robotic pirates and gruesome ogres. When he writes them down and turns them into his teacher, they come back covered with red marks circling his spelling. He becomes discouraged that his dyslexia keeps him from sharing his stories.
One day a new teacher arrives at his school full of energy and enthusiasm Mr. Watson tells magical stories about objects he has hidden in his briefcase and covers the chalk board with his funny drawings. Mr. Watson makes the students feel safe and inspires them to be themselves. So the boy decides to share his dragon story. Instead of red marks, Mr. Watson asks the boy about his dragon story.
Why I like this book:
Paul Russell has written an inspiring and hopeful story for children who are dyslexic and find spelling challenging. It also is a story for all children who are learning to spell and write. It encourages kids to use their imaginations and creativity to express all of the ideas that want to be heard.
And Russell “gets” the struggle dyslexic students and reluctant writers face when putting their ideas onto paper. He was that dyslexic boy who was inspired to become a writer and teacher because one special teacher believed in him.
Aska’s colorful illustrations that are infused with imagination, humor and expression. I chuckled my way through these detailed beauties. Aska worked with around 70 children, many of whom were dyslexic or had reading difficulties. The children helped her design the book’s imaginary world through the stories they created! Make sure you check out the end pages as they are a lot of fun!
Resources: Encourage kids to write an imaginative story without worrying about spelling. The idea is not to be perfect, but just to have fun with writing something silly or serious. This book belongs in every school library.
Paul Russell is a teacher, artist, playwright, author and father of two. His book, Grandma Forgets, was a CBCA Notable book.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by the publisher.