Chimps Don't Wear Glasses
by Laura Numeroff
illustrated by Joe Mathieu
toddler - early elementary
toddler - early elementary
This is a wonderfully silly book written by one of my favorite authors, Laura Numeroff (author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). The text continually tells us what our favorite animals don't do while the clever and comical illustrations by Joe Mathieu cause us to consider the possibilities of chimps that wear glasses, horses that hang glide and reindeer that square dance. The book ends with an invitation to the reader to, "...close your eyes and draw with your mind." and enter the dream themselves.
Laptime Lesson Plan Idea
What Don't Your Animals Do?
Take a walk through your house or your neighborhood. As you come across an animal take turns making up phrases of what that animal doesn't do - for example "Labradors don't box." Then find another animal and invent a don't do phrase that rhymes with the first - "Hamsters don't knit colored socks". Continue on throughout the neighborhood keeping your eyes open for new animal subjects. You'll be surprised at how many creatures you have right in your own backyard.
When you get back home write and illustrate your own sequel to Chimps Don't Wear Glasses.
Make Crazy Glasses
Illustrator Joe Mathieu provides his chimps with some crazy glasses. Get out your scrapbox and design your own pair of chimp glasses with pipe cleaners and cardboard and don't forget the rhinestones and sequins.
Story Circle Lesson Plan Idea
Write the Story of Your Dream
The book ends with, "But tell me what you see. It's your dream - not mine!"
- Use this phrase as a writing prompt for the children to write their own part of the dream.
- Keep the theme and rhyming pattern of the book or let the students go their own way.
- If you are keeping to the theme of the book, begin with a brainstorming session that will get the children's minds and imaginations going. The teacher can begin the session by calling out an animal. Then have the children raise their hands and suggest something that the animal doesn't do. Take one of those suggestions and, as a group come up with a second animal and rhyme. When everyone has the idea then send them off to write their own dream.
- Allow each child to illustrate their dream.
- Share the dream stories together with the full class or in small groups.
- If you have early readers and writers set up a writing center where they can dictate their dream to an adult volunteer or an older child.
- Put the dreams and illustrations together in a book for your class library or display them on a bulletin board.
Chimps Don't Wear Glasses published by Simon and Schuster