Author Spotlight: Peter Brown

Peter Brown isn't just an author, he's an author/illustrator.

He is one of my favorite picture book authors; kids just love his funny stories.

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not!) is a story about a boy stuck with a loud and growling teacher who is always yelling st him in class. But one day he sees her at the park and is amazed at how un-monsterlike she is. It would be fun for Brown to write the story from the teacher's point of view. My Student Is a Gremlin or something like that. The first time I ever read this to a class, I was wearing a wide bracelet that oxidized on my skin. The 2nd graders' eyes about popped out when they saw my green skin!

Lucy is a bear who happens across a little child in the woods one day. She promises to take good care of Squeaker, and at first he seems like a great pet. Sadly, Squeaker's manners aren't the best and he's impossible to house train. Lucy has to make the hard choice to set him free so he can be happy in the wild with his own kind. My students are always incredulous that Lucy sees Squeaker as an animal and the scene with the litter pan gets them giggling every time.

Lucy is back for another adventure! She is determined to make a new friend but quickly realizes that friendship can't be forced. She also learns that she doesn't have to change who she is to make friends either. Just being her quirky self, she ends up finding the perfect friend in the end.

Brown won the Caldecott Award for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. Mr. Tiger is from a very prim and proper town where everyone acts appropriately. But one day, he just decides he's had enough and breaks free from the expectations of his neighbors. Ultimately, Mr. Tiger has to find a happy medium, not too proper and not too wild. He ends up helping the whole community learn to relax and be themselves.

Brown has more books, but I want to read them before I talk about them. So, to be continued…


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