"Sally" is going on sabbatical to write a book.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty

The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty
by Karla Strambini
32 pages; ages 5-8
Candlewick Press, 2014

themes: imagination, architecture

opening lines: There once was a man named Norman Qwerty... whose ideas were far from ordinary.

Mr. Qwerty keeps his fantastic ideas under his hat because they are SO unusual that he worries other people will think his ideas are strange. And usually his ideas stay under his hat until one day a very extraordinary idea escapes and grows into something so large and marvelous that something just has to be done about it.

What I like about this book: It's plain fun - from the name Qwerty (which  anyone who uses a keyboard knows) to the whole "keeping your ideas under your hat" theme. I love that other people have unusual ideas under their hats, too and that, in the end, it takes a group to bring an idea to fruition. I also like the artwork. The black & white illustrations have one or two colors added here and there, so the reader can really spend time looking at the details. They have the feel of architectural drawings: gears, mechanical things.

Beyond the book: "Keep it under your hat" is an idiom - hey! didn't we feature an idiom last week? So, what does "keep it under your hat" mean?
Make a hat to keep your ideas under. If you don't have a hat, don't worry. You can make one out of a few sheets of newspaper. After you're finished folding the brim and taping it, glue some decorations on it and then think of all the ideas you could carry around under it. Keep some paper & markers handy so you can draw some of your marvelous ideas!
One of the ideas under Mr. Qwerty's hat is a flying device. What sorts of marvelous flying devices can you imagine? Draw one and tuck it under your hat.

Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) over at  Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy provided by publisher.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, I am jazzed about this one ... thank you for whetting my appetite! Moving from ME to WE is something I've been working on personally and professionally with myself and my school family, so I will be adding Qwerty's tale to our arsenal!

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  2. There seem to be lots of delightful layers in this book. And the name/title is perfect!

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  3. We've been reading a lot of books about inventors and designers lately like Ben Franklin and IGGY PECK ARCHITECT. I'll have to add this one to our list. Thanks Sue!

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  4. This is a a delightful read. You know I didn't even notice that QWERTY were the first six keys on the keyboard. Such a clever name idea for this particular story. I couldn't name the order of the keys, but my hands fly across the keyboard. I love the humor and the us of idioms. I think at some point we all learn that "two heads are better than one" when working on a project, idea etc. Sorry, couldn't resist. This book has so many possibilities.

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  5. This looks like a funny one. I like the idea of putting ideas under a hat. My mom was always telling me to put my "thinking cap" on.

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  6. Oh I absolutely HAVE TO grab this one - sounds so very, VERY fun - and interesting! Thanks - heading over to request it from the library!.

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  7. I like the sound of this one! Thanks for recommending!

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  8. Oh I love this for so many reasons. The art, the humour, tongue-in-cheek sayings, right up my ally! Love it.

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  9. Great review - this looks like a fun one! I will look for it.

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  10. I'm adding this to my library list now. Thanks.

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  11. This one looks, well, Extraordinary!!!! I'll be checking it out! and checking out all those hats I have to wear to see if there are any ideas floating around inside! Thanks Ms Heavenrich!!

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