Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ike's Incredible Ink

Ike's Incredible Ink by Brianne Farley is the second book I am sharing and considering for the Teacher's Choice project with IRA.  I'm going to share my thinking carefully following the review guidelines from IRA.  As a writer and watching children become and be writers for twenty years this book tugged at my heart.  It's hard to get a piece of writing started.  It's sometimes way more fun to collect things to use for writing and have lots of tools than sitting down to act as a writer.  I think writers often want their writing to be perfect from the start.  I also think Ike's problem of writing to write big is common for writers too.

When thinking about the realism of the characters, I find Ike a bit unrealistic.  He is a black dot of ink that has been "humanized" with arms, head, and legs.  However, I think students will enjoy Ike.  I wonder if students will realize Ike is a splotch of ink.  I didn't find any slang or poor grammar and found the dialogue format to be realistic.  I don't think this story expands the curriculum but I think it will guide some children to have connections and feel as Ike does.  The artwork is pleasing and the illustrations fit the text.  The mediums used are ink and digital collage.  I was surprised to read collage was used because it didn't feel like collage to me.  Maybe I don't know enough about digital collage.  Collage is one of my favorite mediums and I often pick books up because I can see, feel, and enjoy the collage format.  I do think this book will help students think about their own writing life and how sometimes things have to be just right to write.  It can be a springboard for students to get to know themselves better.  I found myself wanting to know more when the story finished.  Ike makes a great ink to write with.  He starts to write and I want to know what Ike writes about.  

If I was reading this book with my everyday teaching and reading lens I would say it's a book to have in your books about writing collection.  

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