Posts from the ‘toddlers’ Category

WISHES + WORK = SUCCESS

Goodnight Wishes!

Written by Leea Baltes

Illustrated by Elia Glinski

A family of mice lived in a rickety old farmhouse that suited their needs perfectly. One day people came and began tearing their home down. Mama mouse placed her children and some food in a basket and ran down to the lake. She wished upon the stars and moon to help her find a way to solve her plight. Suddenly, she heard a screeching sound. A truck swerved to avoid hitting an animal, and a large box fell off the truck. The moonlight illuminated a hollow tree that would make a perfect home. Upon exploring the contents of the box, Mama finds all the materials she needs to furnish their new home. She urges her children to make a wish upon the heavens because when you make a wish and are willing to work hard good things will follow.

This tale teaches children that wishing alone is not enough, one must work hard to achieve success. Christian parents might explain the moral in a Christian contest. The illustrations are done in beautiful watercolors. The rhyming text is crisp and sharp. Recommended for primary grade children.

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A WORLD OF MANY COLORS

UNDERSTANDING BOBBY’S AUTISM DIAGNOSIS: A Social Story

Written and illustrated by Bozena Zawisz

This book explains how an autistic child views his world. It is a valuable reference tool for parents and teachers of autistic children to use to explain autistic behavior. Many autistic children on the higher end of the spectrum are educated in inclusive classrooms. Children can become confused when these children avoid eye contact, have slower speech, and sensitivity to stimuli that other children think normal.

The author uses simple analogies like an abundance of twig branches to explain why autistic children may have difficulty focusing. She talks about teacher adaptations and how they assist an autistic child in learning. Different intensities of the colors of a rainbow is another good example of how all of us are different in the way we behave. Bobby and his friend John have overcome all these difficulties and have become the best of friends. Each of us has unique talents and skills All children need to give and receive respect for these strengths and differences.

I highly recommend this book which contains simple sketches for parents and teachers of elementary school and middle-school children who have contact with children on the autism spectrum.

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A NECESSARY INGREDIENT

Nobody Loves Mustard

Written and Illustrated by Jeremy Ross

Poor mustard is depressed. As he observes people choosing condiments for their food, no one seems interested in using mustard. Victor and Gilly put ketchup on all their favorites like French fries. Mustard asks all the animals he encounters if they would like to put some mustard on their food, but none of them is interested. He becomes so depressed that he wanders off alone into the forest.

But one day, Mr. Fiddle decides to cook hot dogs. He cannot imagine eating one without embellishing it with mustard, so Mr. Fiddle enlists the aid of his to find mustard. At last, mustard realizes that he is needed. The author wants children to understand we are all loved even if we feel underappreciated at times.

This picture book with adorable illustrations and humor is appropriate for preschoolers and early elementary school age readers.

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A BIGGER BUCKET

How Big is Your Bucket?

Written by Todd Weaver

Daddy Lion decides that he will have a contest for his three young cubs. He challenges each to find the biggest bucket for The Autumn Harvest Festival. Ashley, Alex, and Jacob each have a plan. They scurry off to complete their task before dinner. Alex secures the car wash bucket, Ashley decides on the laundry bucket, but Jacob methodically scours the town until he comes upon the mayor’s bucket for tomorrow’s parade, which he borrows to show his father. Daddy Lion fills all the buckets to the top with toys and candy. The children wisely choose to share their treats with the whole town.

This book is written in rhyme that is sometimes not to the point and a bit difficult to follow. I would also suggest a larger font size so that a young reader could follow more easily. Recommended for preschoolers and primary grade readers.

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SEARCHING FOR HIS VOICE

Jaw-Jaw, the Donkey

Written by K. K. Korner

Illustrated by Sharon L. Richert

 

Jaw-Jaw lives on a farm with many different animals. He has never seen or heard another donkey. Jaw-Jaw asks the wise scarecrow what his voice sounds like. The scarecrow tells him he must laugh long, lofty and loud to find out.

For the next few days, Jaw-Jaw hears crows, children, and the wind whistling through the barn, but the scarecrow informs Jaw-Jaw that none of these are his voice. Finally, a group of blackbirds lands on Jaw-Jaw prompting the actions necessary for him to speak. Jaw-Jaw is jubilant that he has found his voice.

This book contains large, colorful illustrations and a simple plot intended to teach children something about animal sounds. I would recommend it as a bedtime story or read aloud for preschoolers and kindergarten children.

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METEOR MICK

Arnold and Louis. Reach for the Stars

Written by Harvey Storm

 

This is my second time reading a book in this series for children ages three through five. Mick the Meteor has been falling through space for a long time. He falls asleep but wakes up just before hitting the Earth. Arnold, the Moose, and Louis, the Goose, are relaxing in their home in the forest at the edge of the swamp when they hear a crash and see smoke. Mick has landed in the swamp. When Arnold and Louis arrive at the swamp they find smoke coming from a small stone covered with precious stones lying in the mud.

Arnold and Louis are surprised when the stone begins to talk. Mick informs them that he really wants to go home. Arnold and Louis attempt to construct a catapult to launch Mick into space. They try unsuccessfully one hundred different ways. Miss Gorilla tells them that they need a rocket to reach outer space. They work together as a team until a successful rocket launch is achieved.

Appealing illustrations and vivid colors along with nice graphics make this series a good choice for preschoolers. Fun characters and moral lessons motivate the young reader.

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FRUSTRATED?

THE CHICK WHO COULD NOT KICK

Written by Tim Zak

 

This is an exciting day at the chicken coop. soccer tryouts are about to begin. Chuck desperately wants to make the team. He tries his best but his legs are shorter than the rest of the chicks. Chuck refuses to give up, even though everyone else is laughing at him. Chuck comes up with a plan that just might provide a solution to his problem and help the team.

This is a simple book with two lines of rhyming text on each page. Some of the rhymes come off as forced. Recommended for toddlers and preschoolers, particularly children who love soccer.

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