It’s hard to develop characters – well. It’s even harder to develop a character that’s young, irritating, and lovable all at once, isn’t it? I’ve often noticed this when my students try to personify their younger brothers and sisters in their writing. They want them to seem annoying, but often end up making them look like brats, or worse, like they’re evil.
Enter the solution to this character development problem going-forward. Tony Fucile’s book, which is available in stores next week, Let’s Do Nothing!, depicts two boys who are out of things to do. Along the way, Frankie, who appears to be the younger of the two boys, demonstrates that this is impossible to nothing since it’s impossible for him not to breath, wince, or blink. However, the older of the two characters, Sal, never seems to lose his patience with Frankie despite all of the problems Frankie causes by doing something, instead of nothing. (Can I have Sal in my next class?)
Reading this book aloud to a small group of kids who are having trouble with character development might be a great way to use this text as a mentor during a narrative or short fiction unit of study. I can envision having students study the way Fucile has Frankie talk, move, act, and behave in order to help themselves create their own little lovable, albeit somewhat annoying, little kid in their own stories.
Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile is published by Candlewick Press. A review copy was provided by the publisher.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.