For today’s mentor text I’m going to share two of my favorite picture books by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall.
Not only are both of these books incredibly sweet stories with beautiful illustrations, but they lend themselves to an author’s craft study of poetry. Baylor’s stories are told through free verse poetry. Often, each sentence is its own paragraph or stanza on the page. The minimal dialogue that is included is often poignant and so purposeful to the story. Students could study one page, noting how and when the author chose to create new paragraphs/ stanzas, discussing why those choices were important to the story.
Baylor’s writing could also be used as a mentor text to study author’s use of parentheses. In both of these books, Baylor uses parentheses as a way to show the narrator’s thoughts throughout the story. These inner thoughts allow the reader to better understand the narrator and her perspective, making it even more personal.
” Otherwise, I count it just an average day. (I told you I was choosy.)” – I’m in Charge of Celebrations, Byrd, 1986.
Have you read any of Byrd Baylor’s books? Have your students used any of her writings as mentor texts?
Previous Mentor Text posts:
– The Mysteries of Harris Burdick