Green Pants: A picture book embracing individual style and creative solutions
The Synopsis: Jameson gets his confidence from his green pants, which he wears religiously. With the power of his green pants, he is a star! Jameson is very excited to participate in his cousin’s wedding, that is until his mother informs him he will be required to wear a black pants during the event. How will he ever manage in this unfamiliar wardrobe?
The Author: Green Pants, by Kenneth Kraegel, is a great addition to your bookshelf. Writer Kraegel currently lives in Grand Rapids and has a background in volunteer work and agriculture. He illustrates his own books with his watercolor designs.
What Makes it Special? The writing is smooth and comical. Kraegel has a knack for dialogue. While he is not Black, this is not his first book to feature characters of color facing universal issues. His talent for capturing the natural natural hair and various tones makes this visual journey enjoyable for all readers.
This book is beloved for its honoring of personal choice in physical presentation, and its push for creative problem solving. Sometimes confidence comes from one’s ability to make choices for oneself.
Be sure to pair reading this book with the coloring pages Kraegel offers on his website: http://www.kennethkraegel.com/coloring-pages.html.
The Afterthought: Don’t just read and shelve! Discuss the book with your readers as this builds critical thinking, vocabulary and fluency. Plus, you deepen your bond with your reader when you engage them in level-appropriate conversation about the media they consume. You send the message that what they read and how they think is important and worthy of your time.
The protagonist in this feature must deal with not getting his first choice this time around. His solution shows how staying true to ones self while making room for compromise can be a pleasant pairing for all. Can you and your reader relate? Have you ever had to make a compromise that challenged your identity or preferences? Would you have solved the problem the same way Jameson did? What other solutions could Jameson have considered? How do you and your reader find confidence to do amazing things?
Learn to Read Tip: If your reader enjoys this book, make the most of reading it again and again. Select one word, sentence or page and make a copy of it. Practice reading this one selection with your reader over and over to build fluency. The goal is for your reader to read each word independently with confidence, good pacing, and appropriate emotion. This takes daily practice and a calm attitude as the reading leader. The next time you read the book together, let your reader read the selection they have practiced. They will enjoy having a role during reading time. The added bonus is your reader will learn several new words and gain a deeper understanding of how words work in context.
Sound Focus: Check out the word “tuxedo.” It’s rather unusual for new readers. The long e and o sounds along with the x, which sounds like /cks/, calls for phonetic acrobatics. Help your reader get familiar with the diversity of words and sounds by focusing on words with unusual letter and sound combinations. Check out RhymeZone to find other words with similar sounds.