DESCRIPTION: The self-portraits from two Kindergarten students come to life in this “coming-of-age” story of artistic development. Marble Boy and Stick Girl are bored. There is nothing to do and nothing to see. After discovering the big boys and girls living in lands of beauty and color, Marble Boy and Stick Girl decide it’s time to grow up and find their place in the world.
ART: The characters, Marble Boy and Stick Girl, represent the early stages of self-portraiture and develop throughout the story. Slowly, Marble Boy and Stick Girl “grow up” through the addition of details, background, and color to the pictures. Each illustration shows Marble Boy and Stick Girl on their respective pieces of paper, growing and interacting with one another throughout Kindergarten. Because the art provides the bulk of the story, strong direction is offered throughout the manuscript to tell the bigger story.
THEMES: Themes explored, both explicitly and implicitly, in Marble Boy and Stick Girl are: stages of artistic development, friendship, identity, growing up, and growth over time.
AUDIENCE: Children: ages 3-8 years. Grade Level: Preschool – 2.
WORD COUNT: 289
COMPETITION: Marble Boy and Stick Girl fits well within the commercial market, currently ravenous for art-themed, picture books. Marble Boy and Stick Girl is unique, however, as the illustrations accurately represent the early stages of a child’s artistic development. A few books that are similar in theme and style to Marble Boy and Stick Girl are:
- Kelly Light, Louise Loves Art, Balzer & Bray, 2014.
- Herve Tullet, Mix It Up!, Chronicle Books, 2014.
- Drew Daywalt and Olive Jeffers, The Day the Crayons Quit, Philomel, 2013.
- Peter H. Reynolds, Sky Color, Candlewick, 2012.
- Eric Carle, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Philomel, 2011.
- Barney Saltzberg, Beautiful Oops!, Workman Publishing Company, 2010.
- Peter H. Reynolds, Ish, Candlewick, 2004.
- Peter H. Reynolds, The Dot, Candlewick, 2003.
- Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Harper Collins, 2005. (1st Edition, 1955)
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (CCSS): Marble Boy and Stick Girl offers opportunities for teachers to meet CCSS through the exploration of story structure, literal and figurative language, and theme. CCSS supported in Marble Boy and Stick Girl are:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
BIOGRAPHY: Michelle Lynn Senters thrives on story. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and a MA in Integrated Teaching through the Arts. While new to the publishing world, Michelle is well-versed in children’s literature. As an elementary teacher of 14 years, storytelling and books served as the framework from which she built her curriculum. With over 20 original stories developed and shared in her classroom, Michelle gained invaluable knowledge as to what captivates and inspires young minds. It is Michelle’s intention to write books that inspire children to wonder, explore, think, and create.
- Website: In 2014, Michelle developed KIDS ARE WRITERS, a website designed offer education, inspiration, and support to young writers. Within the first year, KIDS ARE WRITERS had over 40,000 visits from 90 countries around the world. KIDS ARE WRITERS is utilized by students, teachers, parents, and adult writers.
- Author/Speaker Website: Michelle writes on faith, family, writing, and education at www.michellelynnsenters.com.
- Speaking: Michelle is an experienced speaker and maintains an active calendar speaking to students, educators, and women’s groups. Click HERE for more information.
- Marble Boy and Stick Girl is Michelle’s first picture book.
- Article: Let Down Again- Guiding your children through the disappointments of a no-show parent. Thriving Family Magazine. (January/February 2012)
- Play: The Amazing Grace Race. Meriwether Publishing. (2012)