2.12.12

NOT NOW, BERNARD by David McKee


May I say that I found this book a little weird? It's a bilingual version, published by Anaya, of a very famous illustrated novel written by David McKee and translated into many languages as well.

It's strange because the protagonist, Bernard, didn't get any revenge for being ignored by his parents all the time. 

On the contrary, right in the middle of the story, he's eaten by a monster, which was waiting for him in the garden. Can a supposed protagonist die in the middle of a book?

What terrible parents! Always too busy to pay any attention to their own son, who, desperately looking for someone to spend time with, ends up eaten by an unfriendly-looking monster. Can you see the metaphor?

This happens in real life as well, doesn't it?

The tale continues showing the monster, which has now taken the place of Bernard, going indoors and being ignored by those busy parents of Bernard. 

The monster has changed into Bernard now, we can recognize the child's expression on its face. It could be judged as an annoying kid: It bites the father's leg, it beaks toys… At the end of the story, even its identity as a monster starts to weaken. 

It rings a bell… it reminds me of some students with a difficult personality, whose distrust was overcome with some extra praise and affection.

Anyway, the book is easy reading for 6 year-old Spanish students and it's food for thought. It has got attractive illustrations that will catch your students attention, easy-to-follow story lines that will keep them attentive, and simple, repetitive language presented in a meaningful context that will help retention.

Many other classroom activities are explained in this READING GUIDE