Saturday, September 4, 2010

Speling Mistayks

Pilkey, Dav. 2010. The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future. Scholastic.

Okay, so I wanted to like this book.  I really did.  I think Dav Pilkey is hilarious and love the fact that he has introduced countless boys into the world of reading with The Adventures of Captain Underpants.  I love Dav Pilkey’s “Extra Crunchy Website O’ Fun.” I love “flip-o-rama,” the world’s cheesiest animation.

So, why don’t I like his latest offering, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future? It’s the spelling!
In the Captain Underpants series, George and Harold (who are, BTW, the “authors” of the new series) were notoriously bad spellers.  Their graphic interludes usually contained misspellings.  The actual story in text however, was always written with proper spelling and grammar.  In contrast, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, contains only the graphic cartooning of George and Harold, and so is consistently misspelled.  How bad is it?
When Ooks sister, Gak, heard the comoshen, she pleeded with Chief Gobernopper.
Aack! It just grates against my brain, and I imagine thousands of kids reading it without an inkling that there might be an error.  Is it just me?

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future - cartoons, flip-o-rama, cavemen, dinosaurs, robots, kung-fu, evil leaders.

Will kids (especially boys) love The Adventures of Ook and Gluk?  Probably.  Do I? Sadly, no.

(Still, I do love “flip-o-rama.”)


Now I’d better try to revive my spell-checker!

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4 comments:

  1. This method of writing is to encourage creativity in elementary school children who are now stifled by perfectionism. Kids feel they can't write because they don't know how to spell well. Pilkey really understands kids better than you think. His book does not encourage poor spelling. "Look beyond the surface" as Master Wong would say. There really is a deep message in this book. If you are put off by the spelling, then you have missed the point of the book. Out of the ordinary methods are always banned or reprimanded. Pilkey is using humor to point out an important messages to kids. For example, the boys in the book think the baby dinosaur is small, but Master Wong points out that the baby dinosaur is big from the bug's perspective. He also teaches that trophies do not make one a good person. There is much more to life. Books can be used to encourage writing not just reading. I think it's refreshing to read a book that's hilarious, has exciting illustrations, and can make you think about life without being obvious.

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  2. Thanks for your comments, which I do completely understand. I agree that there is definitely value in the book’s message, and although I’m not an educator (I’m a public librarian), I also understand that worrying about spelling can inhibit a child’s creativity. My own children were encouraged at an early age in school to write without concern for spelling. I, however, worry about children’s lack of ability to spell and construct quality sentences in this age of spell and grammar checker. That prompts my dislike for the book. My intention was not to reprimand, and as a public librarian, I certainly don’t consider banning. In fact, I will be pleased if the book is popular and brings more reluctant readers into the library. I even plan to host an after-school program based on Dav Pilkey’s book, but will most likely focus on art - specifically, flip-o-rama. I also find a hilarious book refreshing. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

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  3. You have a good point about the age of spell checks. Hopefully, kids will be able to point out the errors and have fun! I applaud your wonderful comment and the fact that you will be focusing on art in your after-school program. I think Dav Pilkey is an amazing artist. THE PAPERBOY, WHEN CATS DREAM and GOD BLESS THE GARGOYLES are some of his books that truly showcase his paintings and poetry. Your town is very lucky to have a public librarian who seems to want to enhance the creativity in children. This society needs more people like you and Dav Pilkey!!

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  4. I’ve never seen When Cats Dream. I’m going to have to look for it. Thanks again for your comments. Lisa

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