In this post, we feature author and illustrator Michael Rex, whose popular titles include Eat Pete and Goodnight Goon. You can hear him speak about the inspiration for his new picture book, Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots, and try his fun “invitation to imagine” activities. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Written and illustrated by Michael Rex
- Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers
- Release date: Feb. 11, 2020
Do you know the difference between a fact and an opinion? It can be a hard thing to understand. Some things are facts—like the number of robots in this book. Other things are opinions—like which robot dances best. And sometimes to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, you need to wait to get more information. This playful picture book from Michael Rex helps young readers distinguish between facts and opinions and reminds us to try to listen to one another’s opinions while also standing up for the facts.
Listen to Michael Rex talking with TeachingBooks about creating Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.
- Listen to Michael Rex talk about his name.
- Watch a video trailer of Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots.
- Explore TeachingBooks’ collection of activities and resources for Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots.
Invitation to Imagine
TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activities contributed by Michael Rex.
Imagination Activities with Michael Rex
Facts vs. Opinions vs. Your Home. With a partner, find objects in your house such as a couch, or a table, or a kitchen appliance. On a piece of paper, list three facts about that object. Remember, a fact is something that can be proven true or false. Then, list three opinions about that object. An opinion is what you believe, and how you feel about the object, but it can’t be proven. Once you both have three facts and opinions, compare them with each other. Did you both find the same facts? Did you have different opinions? Did either of you mix up a fact and an opinion?
Robots vs. Robots! With a partner, draw your own robot, each of you working on your own piece of paper. Be as silly as you like. Color the robots. Once done, trade robots. On a separate piece of paper, list three facts about the robots. Remember, a fact is something that can be proven true or false. List three opinions about the robot. An opinion is what you believe, and how you feel about the object, but can’t prove.
Finish This Sentence . . . with Michael Rex
As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Michael Rex’s response.
“A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”
A surprising thing that helps me work is drawing when I’m writing, and writing when I’m drawing! I’m not sure how it works, but I get my best ideas for writing while I’m very busy drawing. And when I’m stuck during my writing, doing little doodles and sketches can help me come up with better ideas!
“I knew I would be an illustrator when . . .”
I knew I would be an illustrator when I was in elementary school. Nothing made me happier than to do a goofy little drawing and sneak it to a friend during class and make him crack-up. The idea that I could tell a whole story and make people laugh without using any words made me fall in love with drawing.
More Connections to Michael Rex and Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots
- Discover books like Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots on TeachingBooks.
- Penguin Young Readers’ page on Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots, written and illustrated by Michael Rex.
- Buy Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots, written and illustrated by Michael Rex.
- Michael Rex on Twitter.
Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!
Author photo is by Mary Behr. All other text and images are courtesy of Michael Rex and Penguin Young Readers and may not be used without expressed written consent.