Friday, March 18, 2011

Milli and Friends

SOLS Challenge Day 15
Milli, Jack, and the Dancing Cat, by Stephen Michael King, is a book about being true to yourself. It is about not being afraid. It is a book about believing in yourself and living your best life.

Milli is a very creative girl. She can take ordinary things and make them into extraordinary things. Creating makes her very happy. Nobody in the town knows this about Milli, though, because during the day all she does is make shoes. Plain, ordinary brown shoes and work boots. Things change when Jack and his dancing cat come wandering into town. They teach her a few things and she realizes that she doesn’t have to make plain old boring shoes. She learns that life would be more joyful if she was able to be herself.

I can relate to this book because I know a lot of amazing students who are too afraid to be themselves. They are smart, but they don’t want to show it because they think people will think that they aren’t cool. Or they are fabulous artists, but nobody knows because they are too afraid to show anyone their work. I am even like this sometimes. When I have to get in front of people and talk, I often worry that I will sound silly.
I highly recommend this book to children and adults of all ages. Reading it reminds us that we all have special talents and gifts and we should embrace them. It is okay to be unique. It is okay to be different. In fact, it is more than okay. It is wonderful!

This is a "response to literature" that I wrote today to share with a second grade class.  Writing it reminded me once again the power of the picture book.  You don't have to be in second grade, or even in elementary school, to learn a lesson from the simple words and sweet illustrations in this book.

Happy Friday!


  1. Anonymous18.3.11

    So very true. I love picture books and hope my own children will love them as they grow up. So many conversations open from "simple" picture books. Thanks for sharing your response. I'll have to check out Milli. :)
    Happy Friday,

  2. Anonymous18.3.11

    Thanks for the tip. I love your connection and the way you shared your thinking with your students. I'll be checking this book out. MaryHelen