Most Days and Most People by Michael Leannah
Truth be told when I thought of writing about this book and it’s Companion, Most People, I considered the social emotional toil this year has taken on all of us, educators and students alike. I consider the hopeful yet believable message of both of these delightfully crafted and illustrated picture books to be balm for adults and I hope inspiration for students. Those things are still true.
Michael Leannah takes the simple concept that most days are ordinary days, we go about our routines and everyone around us goes about similar routines. What are those? Brushing our teeth, getting dressed, thinking about getting older. At first, these words seem to be about growing up, but then… Michael Leannah moves the reader to consider noticing. Noticing small changes, small miracles. To me, this is the kind of mentor text I could treasure and pull out across many, many grades. Things don’t happen the same way twice… and that’s ok.
The publisher writes that this is a book about mindfulness. What could be better than a book about being in the moment. Celebrating as Mr. Leannah says, The world puts on a show, as it does every day.
Pairing these books gives students an opportunity to think about theme and also craft. The author and the message he wants to convey. When sharing this and other texts both in reading and in writing work, we can share the author’s background, his other titles, his history, his place.
Michael Leannah is a midwestern former teacher and author. When his own children were grown, he considered what to do with himself next and quickly decided to continue writing in other forms. He is driven by I want more… more books in his life, both the ones he reads and those he writes. He keeps a guitar by his writing desk at all times. This reminds me of those early writing units in the primary where we show the students author’s work spaces to inspire them. Let’s inspire young writers with authors all the time. Let’s highlight who has put these words and also, these illustrations on the page whenever we can. Who knows which author, workspace, words, and craft will inspire a singular child.
These books are uplifting without preachiness, approachable mentor texts for all levels of elementary writers. A wonderful read aloud and mentor text for most teachers.