Yesterday I had Matt Stanton come to school as a visiting author/illustrator, thanks to Where the Wild Things Are/Avid Reader. I bring as many authors to my school library as is possible as it is simply the best way I know to bring books to life for young readers. To say our kindergarten children were engaged yesterday is an understatement – they were already silly-excited about meeting an author and then when it turned out that Matt was going to let them make fart noises, well…#winningatlife. Three and four year olds are a hard audience for anyone, but I’m pretty sure that Matt could have had those children fully on task and engaged all days with his stories. His books are humorous, clever and absolutely engage young readers. Yes there is bodily functions in many of his books – go with it and read what Andy Griffiths has to say on this here. The primary target audience for his first ‘series’ of picture books is 4-6 year olds, who love a bodily function or three and, more importantly, they love to laugh and surely we want them to laugh and enjoy books. Building a sense of joy around books is one of the most important factors in raising a reader. It is all-important for children to laugh while they read and to know that a book was written for them, not for their parents or teachers to enjoy as a literary work; Matt Stanton and the team he works with have nailed this.
Matt Stanton is however, much more than the ‘funny/gross/ridiculous’ author/illustrator. His latest series of books is ‘Books That Drive Kids Crazy’; with ‘This is a Ball’ and ‘Did You Take the B from my _ook?’ and in 2017 he will have a series of middle grade books. ‘Books That Drive Kids Crazy’ are still in the funny book space but what is ridiculously clever about these books is how interactive they are how brilliantly they work as a read aloud – in fact these books have to be read aloud.
I have purchased both these titles many, many times over for various family members and friends and I read them to all year levels at school and enjoy them every.single.time. I know the text by heart and I still laugh in all the right places. They are beautifully designed books, pretty much my favourite books, from a design perspective, of the last five years.For the Grown-Ups: You know how you’re right all the time? All. The. Time. Yes, well, it’s time to give the kids a turn. Which is why everything you read in this book is going to be wrong. But that’s okay, because the kids are going to correct you. And they’re going to love it!
Two things you need to know. Firstly, your favourite thing in the whole world is the letter B. And secondly, you’re about to sneeze and all the Bs are going to be blown out of the book. So until you can get your favourite letter back, you’re about to sound really, really silly … And the kids will love it!
Every time I read one of these books to The Five Year Old AKA The Wild Thing AKA Chickpea, I move a little away from her for fear of being whacked and told ‘this book is just particularly ridiculous mummy’ (her exact words). She loves and laughs her way through them, but is also so very, very frustrated by the utter craziness of them – which I think Matt Stanton would be quite pleased about.
Follow what Matt Stanton is up to through his website. He has newsletters that kids, parents and teacher can sign up to in order to stay up-to-date with Matt. You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Keep your eye on Matt Stanton – I predict big things for him for the Matt Stanton ‘brand’.Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.