Mentor Text Review: Mr. Huff

  • Author and illustrator: Anna Walker
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia

Mr. Huff, written and illustrated by Anna Walker, is a book about a boy who wakes up and finds himself having a bad day. He gets grumpier as the day goes on, until he finally faces up to his emotions. As with all of Anna Walker’s books, this book is just gorgeous and wraps your heart in a warm hug at the end. It would be a great book for exploring emotions with children.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

IDEAS: Investigate how Anna Walker has added extra detail to show her reader that Bill is having a bad day rather than tell them. (Anna encourages the reader to infer Bill’s feelings by using the details she has provided eg. ‘He didn’t want to be rained on. He didn’t want to be late.’)

ORGANISATION: Discuss the first page and its impact on the reader. What does the author do to make you want to read on? How has the author shown the passage of time in this book? How many hours/days pass in the duration of the book? How do you know? (Bill is walking to school therefore it’s morning, ‘the afternoon light hit the pavement’ and then ‘the next morning’ he woke up.)

SENTENCE FLUENCY: The author has used many short sentences and the occasional complex sentence. How does this sound on the ear?

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

INFERRING: Anna Walker leaves plenty of room for the reader to infer the message and action in this story. What do you think this book is about? Why? What is Mr Huff? What makes you think that?

MAKING CONNECTIONS: have you ever felt the same way as Bill? Do you know any other books or movies on this same topic? Have you read any of the author’s other books? How could that help you make a prediction about this one?

PREDICTING: What do you think will happen? Why do you think that?

QUESTIONING: What are the things in your day that could make a Mr Huff start following you? What things can you do to make your own Mr Huff go away?

The ADVANCED Writing Traits Masterclass is finally here!