Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown!

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is Peter Brown's newest picture book!  I have become a HUGE Peter Brown fan over the last few years and was very excited to see a new book coming out. Today is the books BIRTHDAY so we are having quite the celebration!

MR. TIGER GOES WILD  has lots of the same characteristics I love about Peter Brown's writing.  A great story with a character you come to love and understand early in the book.  The illustrations invite revisiting over and over and the message is a fun one. This is the story of Mr. Tiger who wants to go a little wild, do something out of the box, get out of his usual routine and have a little fun. Who can't relate to a story like this?

We have all gone wild a bit in our lives. We've done things out of the norm or a little out of our usual comfort zone.  Me? I am pretty much a rule follower--I don't necessarily agree with every rule and I am opinionated and mouthy about those I don't love, but I tend to do what I am supposed to do.  But sometimes what you are supposed to do gets boring and I think we all need to have a little fun by going a little bit wild, just like Mr. Tiger.

As I was preparing for this blog post, I was thinking about times in my life that I've done something a bit out of the norm.  It seems that I have lots of little things throughout my life so I tried to think back to the first experience I could remember of going a bit wild--doing something out of the box.  Lucky for me, I've always had friends who helped me get out of my comfort zone--who had ideas that I never would have attempted or who have gone along with an idea I've thrown out there that I was never actually serious about.  I have out of the box ideas but often just throw them out as a joke. I've always had a friend or two two who see my amusing ideas as real possibilities.

My first experience of a time I "went wild" was in Kindergarten.  It was late in the year in Kindergarten and classroom jobs were posted.  It was my turn to get the milk. Getting the milk was one of the best classroom jobs.  With a friend, you took an empty crate to the school refrigerator in the hallway (very far away from the Kindergarten room) and counted out the milk for snack time.  Each of us had a choice between chocolate and regular each day so the milk helpers were responsible for counting out the correct number of each kind, putting them in the crate and carrying the crate back to the classroom. It was one of the few jobs that took us outside of the classroom.

Well, on this day, I was with one of my more adventurous friends.  And the routines of Kindergarten were getting a little boring.  "Wouldn't it be funny," I thought, "to fill the crate with ALL of the milk in the refrigerator instead of counting only the 12 chocolate and 9 white that we needed for our classroom?"  That would certainly break up the routine and make for a little fun. As soon as I thought the idea out loud, my friend loved it, so we got to work.

As five year-olds, it took a lot of work to get ALL of the milk out of the refrigerator--every last carton. We were so focused on the work of following through with our idea, that I don't think it ever occurred to us in the very long time we were gone, that this might be a bad idea.

But I do remember the look on the teacher's face when she discovered us, me stretching my arm as far as I could, to reach those last few cartons in the refrigerator. When I saw her face, it hit me that this idea was probably not a great one. It was then that I realized for the very first time, that we were probably going to get in big trouble.

But my teacher seemed so flustered that she didn't have time to reprimand us when she found us in the hallway working hard to fit hundreds of cartons of milk into a small crate. Instead she sent us back to the classroom, canceled the milk portion of our snack as it was clearly too late for that, and waited for the day to end.  Her look was not one of anger, but one of relief, disbelief and exhaustion.  No anger at all.  Looking back, I am sure the teacher was alarmed at the two of us being lost and was thrilled that we hadn't run out of the building or something. And I am sure someone had to put the milk back.

I hardly ever got in trouble when I was little. No real reason to.  My parents were very good at understanding me and realizing that most of the naughty things I did were well-intentioned.  And I wouldn't say I got in trouble with the milk either.  But it was clear that I had misbehaved a bit.

This story comes back to me often as a teacher.  As a teacher of elementary children, I know that kids often have ideas that seem fun to them, that do not seem so amusing to me.  My idea was hysterical to the 5-year old me.  I couldn't imagine it wouldn't be hysterical to everyone else. My plan was to bring joy and laughter into the classroom by carrying hundreds of cartons of milk back in.  I think this story comes back to me lots to remind me that often, these kids do something "wild" and it is just them playing and learning how to have a little fun without hurting anyone. I think my teacher's non-angry response was important. She definitely wasn't happy but she kind of got it--no harm done.

And because I'm a rule follower,  I think we all need okay excuses to go out of our comfort zone.  Since Kindergarten, I've planned lots of events that invite people to go a bit wild.  I was Pep Club president in high school and that role allowed me to organize things like Punk Day and other Spirit Days.  I also look for excuses to go a little wild in an okay way.

Me (far right) on "Punk Day" my senior year in high school.  Don't think any of my high school friends photoed here read this blog but if they did, they would verify that we definitely found ways to have fun and go a little wild every day in high school:-)  On an unrelated note, I am realizing that this is how I wear my hair to yoga class so it stays out of my eyes but it seemed to be a better look when I was 17....

An excuse to go a little wild in college when I signed up for the Dance Marathon. Each hour had a new "theme" so I had an outfit for each hour.  (Tacky Tourist maybe?)  As you can see, my husband (then boyfriend) Scott, was not as comfortable going wild by dressing up each hour.

The story of my Kindergarten milk idea has come back to me often lately because I worry that in schools, with this stressful testing environment, we have taken away lots of the excuses to do something "fun".  I loved school my entire life--from preschool through college. I loved it because we had lots of fun in between and along with the learning. We learned lots but also had built in ways to do things out of the routine on a pretty regular basis.  So we understood that learning and fun went together. And that little breaks in our learning actually made the learning part easier.  I worry that we've forgotten how important the fun part is when it comes to learning.  I am hoping this book reminds us of that a little.

You will definitely want to get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as you can!  It will be a fabulously fun read aloud for all ages. And I am sure it will be one that is read over and over and over by students. It is one to just enjoy and also one that will naturally lead to lots of discussions--one of being who you are and one of going a little wild sometimes is certainly an okay thing!

And now, for some exciting news on how you can WIN a copy of the book. A Year of Reading has been given 3 copies of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, courtesy of Little, Brown and Company!  So, if you would like to be considered for one of these 3 prizes, leave a comment on this post sharing a story of a time you've done something a little wild. You can blog about it and leave us the link or you can share the story as a comment.  Winners will be announced on 9/10 so you have a full week to think about this and share!
(Note:  Books cannot be shipped to PO boxes, and will ship to US residents only). 

And there is even another chance to win:

A.....Scavenger Hunt!
To celebrate the release of Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, we have a blog tour scavenger hunt for you! Visit all the blogs listed below to collect 7 letters/characters. Unscramble the letters/characters to unlock the secret phrase. Each blog is giving away three copies of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild courtesy of Little, Brown Books and Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts has a Mr. Tiger Goes Wild prize pack to give away. 

Franki at A Year of Reading
Jen at Reederama
Katherine at Read, Write, Reflect
Laura at LibLaura5
Colby at SharpRead 

And our letter is.....

And if you haven't read all of Peter Brown's books, now would be the perfect time to discover their brilliance! A few favorites include The Curious GardenCreepy Carrots! and YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear). And don't forget to check out his blog.  If Peter Brown isn't already one of your favorite authors and illustrators, he will be soon!

Thanks, Peter Brown, for another amazing book!!


  1. Ha! I love your story and love the pictures! I, too, think we need to have more fun in the classroom! Laughing is so healthy. Can't wait to read this book!

  2. Franki, thanks for the reminder about going wild and having fun. I just might have to think of something wild to do today!

    Our kids need more teachers like you, who remind us to look beyond the surface of what kids say and do. Being wild or having a new idea is a wonderful thing!

  3. My toddler goes wild enough for the both of us, these days, so I think we'd both love to read about this tiger. I love the cover!

  4. We do need to have more fun in the classroom! One wild thing I did with a colleague one year was completely change places with him. When the students arrived, they were shocked at first, but then settled in to their 'new' teacher for a day! Much fun with a new group! I love Creepy Carrots, know I will love this one, too!

  5. Anonymous12:11 PM

    When some older kids started picking on my toddler at the playground one day, I went a little wild. Although I prefer to think of it as just being an angry mama bear protecting her cub!

  6. Thank you for this great review--complete with fun life stories from you, Franki.

    I don't know if I would characterize this as WILD but...Me and my friends would sometimes prank call people in college--all in good fun, nothing mean spirited. We picked names out of our university phone book so, we had a general knowledge of the audience we were talking with--other college students. (These were pre-Facebook days!)

    Anyway, one of those prank phone calls lead to me meeting a guy who became my husband! I was the one who picked his name out of the phone book...I still find it hard to believe my luck!

    I believe I will like reading about Mr. Tiger's escapade : ) Thanks for the opportunity to win this book, and for celebrating the wild side of life ; )

  7. When you are young you do things and only later do you realize how wild it was. When I was in high school, my friend and I would go to the "other side" of town to meet guys. We had fake names because we didn't want them to find us in our real life. We would get into their cars and just cruise up and down the strip. Thankfully nothing bad ever happened. Totally wild for me and incredibly stupid!

  8. I moved to London, England to substitute teach! Looking back, it was quite an impulsive move!

  9. I was the opposite of Mr. Tiger. Getting into a costume was when my wild side came out. Halloween was the best!

  10. I waited to go wild until I was in my mid 30's. I resigned from my job, joined the Peace Corps, and moved to Botswana. How is that for going wild?!?!

  11. I went a little wild when I turned 18. My birthday weekend I went skydiving. That is about as wild as I ever got, but it is enough for me!

    Hoping I win a copy :). Keeping my fingers crossed!

  12. I'm not particularly wild. I did go river rafting once and would love to again. I also go wild with books. I have way more than I should.

  13. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Wild, huh? Well I have been scuba diving in a lake where the visibility was very limited. That felt wild because I didn't know what "wild" creature may be following me!
    I love Peter Brown's books. I have read everyone and would love to win a copy! Thanks for a fantastic post about going wild!

  14. I love all of the pictures you shared! I can totally see you loading up a basket of milk cartons...sweet, little, innocent Franki. :) Thanks for sharing Mr. Tiger Goes Wild with your readers!!!

  15. Thanks for sharing your "Kindergarten Milk story." I know I went wild on occasion in my youth, One time I went "wild" as a teacher was my 2nd or 3rd year teaching probably about 14 years ago. I taught first grade in Portland, OR and my classroom was in an old wooden portable building set on the playground sometime during the 2nd World War. One of my girls claimed she saw a mouse one day, quite possibly true. So, we set about building a mouse trap as we thought it would be fun to have a pet mouse. We used our wooden building blocks and a large glass jar with peanut butter placed in the bottom. And then we went home.

    That evening I of course went to the nearest pet shop and purchased a pet mouse the same color as the one my student had seen and I placed in the jar the next morning before the students arrived. The look on their faces was priceless when they discovered their mouse trap had worked. We immediately named our mouse peanut butter and kept her for several years. We also acquired a companion for her named jelly, another girl as well.

    I look forward to getting to know Peter Brown's books as this is my first introduction to him. Thanks for continuing to blog all of the great children's literature. It is helping me to keep current with all the new books.

    Debbie Nicholson
    James John Elementary
    Portland, OR

  16. I love being a librarian because it allows you to "Go Wild!" every day during story-time. Everything else is best left unsaid.


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