Bibliographic Info: Slonim, David I Loathe You Aladdin (2012) 32pp Formats: Hardcover ISBN: 13- 978-144242244-5, Kindle Interest Level: PreK-2 Grade Level/Reading Level Equivalent: 2 Genre: Comedy and Humor Themes: Love, Monsters, Parents
Summary: A big monster cares for a small monster the way monsters do… with unconditional loathe.
Review: The theme of I Loathe You, a sweet and humorous picture book written and illustrated by David Slonim, is unconditional love (well, unconditional loathe). Perfect for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, the book celebrates the relationship between a childlike monster and and his or her loving caregiver. The characters are likably horrible. The story unfolds as a simple Q&A between Little Monster and Big Monster. The book features large bright watercolor illustrations that are easy to see from a distance.
Storytime: What gives I Loathe You that something special? It’s a combination of several delightfully disgusting factors:
- a monstrous sense of humor
- terribly awesome illustrations
- a terrific theme…
- and, the book lends itself to performance (so that’s fun!)
This book is all about juxtaposing monstrous words with loving emotions in a humorous way. Practice following the emotional beats of the story at least once. Look at each monster’s face on every page and learn their emotions. When you read each character’s lines, express their feelings. Have fun and pour it on thick. A little attention with emotional expression will go a long way. Also, make your voice a bit higher for Little Monster.
Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness: I was asked to do a Father’s Day-themed storytime. This assignment presented me with a challenge. What if a child in storytime has no Dad? How would that child feel after hearing stories that celebrate fathers? It’s the same issue on Mother’s Day. I set out to find books that focused on the caregiver/child relationship (vs. the gender of a parent). This story does just that. Big Monster lets Little Monster know just how much he is loathed (much to the delight of the little brute). Especially good for single parent families, I Loathe You is a sweetly humorous and child-centered love story
Early Childhood Education and Development: The following lists I Loathe You’s stand-out benefits across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists:
1. I Loathe You provides young children with the opportunity to use their SIx Pre-Reading Skills and begin to read on their own. Here are these six skills:
- Being interested in and enjoying books (print motivation)
- Being able to describe things and events, being able to tell stories (narrative skills)
2. I Loathe You provides parents with opportunities to utilize the following Early Literacy-Building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):
- Talking with kids and telling them stories helps them learn to express themselves and conversations.
- Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (Every Child Ready to Read).
3. I Loathe You cultivates the following Kindergarten Readiness skills (see full checklist here). Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:
- Speak understandably
- Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
- Look at pictures and then tell stories
4. I Loathe You supports the following Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):
- Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
5. I Loathe You supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen or broaden these abilities (see full list here):
- Using Language (naming and describing feelings, describing events, objects and relations verbally)
- Seriation (comparing which one is bigger-smaller, taller-shorter, etc…)
Links: David Slonim’s website Amazon
Awards/Honors: David Slonim wrote and illustrated He Came With The Couch, one of Bright Horizons Top 3 Books of the Year in 2006. David has illustrated more than 15 other children’s books.
I chose to review this work because I was asked to do a Father’s Day storytime and also recommend good read-alouds for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Make Reading More Fun
Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!