Book of the Week: Billy & Milly, Short & Silly

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Book of the Week: Billy and Milly, Short and Silly!

I was so delighted to find this adorable book today that I had to write about it immediately! I scored a great deal on it at a bookstore, and it is very inexpensive on Amazonas well. 

The details:

Billy & Milly, Short & Silly
Written by: Eve B. Feldman
Pictures by: Tuesday Mourning
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009
Hardcover, 32 pages

What it is it?
  • A compilation of thirteen very short stories, most with only four words, paired with dynamic illustrations. For example, Stoops (the characters sitting on the front porch), Hoops (Billy is shooting his basketball), Scoops (Milly is licking her ice cream cone), Oops (when the ball lands on her ice cream cone!).
  • A big award winner! Check out the Facebook page for a nice summary of awards and reviews. 

What I love about it:   
  • Hilarious stories and engaging pictures will delight kids and keep their attention.
  • Creative concept will inspire kids to create their own “very short stories.”
  • Provides a playful introduction to rhyming for kids that may not understand or care for traditional poems.

Uses in therapy:
I can see this book working really well as a whole class push-in or small group pull-out lesson. There are tons of ways to use it in treatment!

  • Read the first story and introduce the topic of rhyming.

o   “I’m going to read a special story today. There aren’t many words in this story, but I think you will notice something cool about the way that it is written. Be listening and raise your hand when you know what is special about the words in this book”
o   “What does rhyme mean? --- That’s right! Rhyming words sound the same at the end.”

  • After reading each story, have the kids come up with other words that rhyme. Although, be sure to save the generative rhyming for story #2… The first story rhyme is with “stoops” – Heaven forbid one clever child come up with “poops,” and your entire lesson goes out the window!

o   “Let’s see if we can think of any more words that rhyme. Remember, rhyming words sound the same at the end. Rock, dock, shock, croc…”
  • Use the book like a wordless picture book to generate narratives. This book is an excellent tool for eliciting past tense constructions at the structured discourse level.

o   “Now I want you to read the story to me! Only this time, you are going to be the author and you will add more words to tell the stories. I’ll start… ‘Billy and Milly sat on the front steps of their houses, waiting for the ice cream truck. Billy was holding his basketball and Milly was just daydreaming.’ Now it’s your turn! Finish the story.”

Grab a summary of these ideas on my Billy & Milly companion card here (An index card with a summary of uses for the book in therapy, to adhere to the inside cover). I try to make one up for all the books I use in therapy because I have a terrible memory and want to have quick access to these ideas when I’m doing last minute session planning!

Have you used this book in your lessons? Can you think of any other uses for it?

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