I read a new book to two preschool classes recently: Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie, written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Joe Mathieu. It’s a great read-aloud for young children, from preschool all the way through second or third grade.
Mrs. Millie is a teacher who teasingly uses the wrong (but similar) words.Â Her students must supply the right ones. For example:
“It’s nine o’clock. Time to write, ” Mrs. Millie says. “Get out your paper and penguins.”
“Don’t be silly, Mrs. Millie! You mean our paper and pencils!”
The illustrations go along with the malaprops, and the children with whom I’ve shared the books have enjoyed many laughs over the pictures.
This would be a great book to use in discussing word choice in writing.Â It will also help children learn to look at words more carefully and notice the differences in similar words.