A couple of months ago JJ started writing a book. Someone at after school care stapled some pages together in a book format for him and then he came up with the title – ‘A big hungry fish and pretty too’. The synopsis is that there’s a happy fish (and pretty too) and a mean and grumpy octopus. So immediately there’s going to be some conflict.
He writes about what the mean octopus does to the pretty fish. There is also character development. The octopus starts to realise that he’s a bit mean and learns from his friends that it’s not nice to be mean, but a lot better to be good – with a zap from an electric worm along the way. An additional character in the form of a shark is shortly going to be introduced.
As I mentioned JJ started writing this book a couple of months ago. It went all the way to Perth and back with us (with no work done on it while we were away), but every now and again he’ll go back to it and add to it and I’ll get him to read it to me. There’s two reasons for getting him to read it to me. One is that he can take ownership and pride in the excellent work he’s done with illustrations and all. The other is that I can’t read his writing as many of the words he’s written as he hears them, not how they should be spelled.
He informed me at the beginning that he doesn’t want anyone to ‘mark’ his work and I’ve solemnly promised not to do such a thing.
When he first read what he’d written and it was pretty obvious that there was a mean octopus I asked if he was modelling the octopus on anyone he knows and he admitted that it was him. So I see this book writing as a learning experience for him in more than just story development, writing and illustration. He knows that some of his behaviour is not ‘good’ and this demonstrates to me that he’s trying to learn not to get into trouble so much.
At school this term he has demonstrated that he’s learning about better behaviour, until a little lapse yesterday when he kicked a boy in the leg after this kid kicked him. When I got a message on my phone from the principal and her first words were, ‘There’s been an incident at school involving JJ……’ my heart sank but once I heard it was in retaliation I thought well at least he didn’t instigate it this time.
I reckon that blogging will be good for JJ once he gets a bit older and then he can get his revenge on me!