Tag Archives: superpowers

Finding your métier

28 Dec

I’ve been teaching since 1988. That’s 27 years of teaching and I finally feel like I’m good at it. It took me a long time to feel that way. Since the elimination of my library job, I felt like I was floundering a bit, so I took a risk and changed jobs, and four months into it, I feel like I’ve found my footing again.

Métier is a French word that is often translated as your job, trade, profession, or occupation, but it carries more weight than those English words. The French word implies that you are good at it. You’ve probably seen some versions of these

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Whatever you would insert in front of  “is my Superpower” is probably your métier.

In looking for books about basset hounds, I came a cross two books that show two very similar characters and their very similar métiers. They could, in fact, almost be before and after books.

In Job Wanted,  written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Chris Sheban,

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a homeless dog arrives on a farm, looking for a job, but is turned away by the farmer , who does not need a dog. The dog offers to be a cow, horse, and chicken. He shows up each morning to demonstrate his talents, but the farmer always says no. It isn’t until the dog scares off a fox that the farmer realizes how valuable the dog can be. It is a little bittersweet, but ends on a hopeful note.

In Ragweed’s Farm DogHandbook written and illustrated by Anne Vittur Kennedy,

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it seems that we are meeting the evolved dog from Job Wanted. Ragweed, a farm dog, explains the jobs that roosters, pigs, chickens, sheep, and cows do. Each explanation is followed by the refrain, “That’s their job. That’s not your job.” Ragweed then tells you what happens if you do their job and the biscuits that eventually result. Because that is the farm dog’s job: TO GET BISCUITS! This book is funny and, living with a basset hound who can manipulate me into giving her treats with just a look, I assure you it is very realistic.

 

 

Just for laughs: Super Hair-O and Crankee Doodle

3 Aug

In my personal reading, I tend not to read humorous books. However, I absolutely love reading a funny book to kids; it’s a form of performance art. I have two new funny books to add to my comedic repertoire.

We often think about superpowers we’d like to have (or actually have?) and I’ve talked about this with kids.  But have you ever considered the source of your superpower?

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In Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom  by John Rocco (who has an awesome portrait in his bio at the back of the book), our young superhero believes the source of his power lies in his locks. Alas, one day he is captured and taken to the barber.

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With the cutting of his hair, color disappears and he looks in vain for a replacement of his power source. when a emergency arises, he & his friends realize that, despite their haircuts, they were still super. With my super future-telling power, I can see a writing project where kids have, lose and regain a superpower.

And then, there’s  Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger.

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With this book, I can indulge my inner curmudgeon because this Yankee is cranky and doesn’t want to go to town.

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His wise donkey helps young readers understand the song on which the story is based and laugh all the way to town. Our first grade team does aunt on American symbols and this would be an excellent resource for them. They kids could learn the song and have some chuckles.

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