Perspective in Children’s Books

Do your children or students ever ask you, “What’s that for?” Or come up with their own ideas about what an object’s function is, what a sign reads or what a word means? It’s comical and sometimes exasperating to hear what goes on in those little heads. Kids have a totally different perspective on the world oftentimes.

Here is something my preschooler tells me from time to time as we run errands in the car: “Mommy, when I’m bigger, I will drive you to the store and then you can sit in my carseat!” She says this with great enthusiasm and delight, as if it will be such a treat for me! I laugh every time she brings this up. If you hear wacky and cute things like that come out of a child’s mouth, you will appreciate the humor in the Minerva Louise books by Janet Morgan Stoeke.

I am fond of Minerva Louise because she is child-like in her perspective on the world. As a hen, she perceives every human as a “farmer” and believes that every single object and setting in the world relates to the farm and animals on the farm. The simple and cute illustrations only serve to underscore the hilarity of her perspective. My children and I loved reading what Minerva Louise at School and hearing what thought when she stepped inside a school for the first time! This makes a great back-to-school read.

Best Ages: pre-k – 2nd grade

For Parents:

  • Ask your child: Does Minerva Louise understand that she is not on the farm? How would you explain to her where she really is?
  • Walk around your home and think together about what Minerva Louise might think of various items or places. What would she think the bathroom sink is for or the cupboards in the kitchen? Have fun and laugh together as you try to imagine your home from a hen’s perspective!

For Teachers:

  • Write the word “perspective” on the board or easel and explain to your students that it is the way someone sees the world around them. Use a pair of sunglasses or turn off the lights to demonstrate that in either of those situations, everything in the room looks darker… That is one perspective. How does our perspective change when we take off the sunglass or turn the lights go back on?
  • Ask your students: What was Minerva Louise’s perspective? Was she in a school or on a farm? Why did she think that?
  • Create a T-chart with the categories of Minerva Louise and Our Class. Write down the perspective the hen had versus your perspective of each scene in the school. (For example: Minerva Louise thought the cubbies were nesting baskets. We think they are for storing our things.)

 

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