Do you utilize picture books as mentor texts? If so, how?
Absolutely! Not always proactively, but I’m a huge picture book aficionado. When I come across a book that really works or that captivates me, I dissect it to see how it works. You might think this would take away somewhat from the magic of a good book, but I feel it usually deepens my understanding and adoration. I typically don’t apply a certain mentor text to a specific text I’m working on. Instead I’m creating a general arsenal of what works and what doesn’t. Some texts to check out . . . Stuck by Oliver Jeffers, There are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz, and The Skunk by Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell.
One that comes to mind right away is perhaps one of the most influential picture books there is . . . WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. In WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, the illustrations get gradually bigger and take up more of the page as the book approaches the climax (three full-bleed spreads with no text).
Something Extraordinary- Ben's Newest Release 2015:
-Optimism, following dreams, wonder, imagination, thinking outside the box/creativity
-Excitability, individuality, inventiveness, problem solving, playfulness, teamwork, learning from each other
Mo’s Mustache- 2013:
-Originality, being yourself, standing up for yourself, frustration, speaking your mind, admiration, celebrating others and yourself
-Handling responsibility, tackling boredom, seeking more out of life, trying new things
Vote For Me- 2012
-Bragging, persuading, competition, speaking before thinking, apologizing
Ben Clanton is the author/illustrator of such books as Something Extraordianry, Rex Wrecks It!, and Mo’s Mustache. When Ben isn’t doodling up stories (and often when he is) he likes to cook, explore outdoors, play basketball, and play games with friends. Ben is in the midst of a move back to Seattle, WA. Find out more about Ben at www.benclanton.com.