Posts from the ‘toddlers’ Category

SIBLING LOYALTY

What It Means to be a Big Brother

Written and illustrated by Lindsey Coker Luckey

This charming picture book is told in the first person. The older sibling professes his unending love and loyalty toward his younger brother.

The book is written in rhyme. While I believe the story would be just as effective if told in verse, the rhyme succeeds for the most part. This older brother promises to protect his brother from harm, and teach him new skills like how to fish, ride a bike, and play games. He promises lots of adventures. The older sibling injects realism and humor into the story. He admits there will be times when they play pranks on their parents or get into trouble for drawing on the table or bringing bugs into the house.

Many books written on siblings focus on the rivalry and adjustment issues when a new sibling enters the family. This one focuses on the family’s love for one another. The soft, gentle illustrations work to enhance the mood. Recommended for any age reader.

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ONLY E

Letter E Leaves the Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Martha Lane

Letter E decides that he wants to leave his alphabet family. He is tired of never being first. Even in the vowel group, his sister letter A always assumes first place. Despite his family’s assurances, that he is unique and cannot be replaced, E writes a letter and takes off on a snowmobile.

The book might be used as an introduction to the alphabet for young children. It contains a sentence rhyme for each of the alphabet letters. But the main message is that like every letter, each child is unique and irreplaceable. Will the alphabet family convince him to return or will the previously written words need to be changed?

This book is based on a true-life experience with a child named, Eric. Recommended as a read-aloud self-esteem book or as an alphabet teaching tool.

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BE OF GENTLE HEART

Our Wounded Little Chickadee

Written by Pamela Tomlin

Illustrated by Tamar Piper

This book is part of a series that features a girl named Emma and her menagerie of personified stuffed animals. Each of these has a distinct personality and a kind heart.

In this volume, Emma and her fluffy friends are playing in the living room when they hear a loud crash outside. After looking out the window, they discover a small bird lying still on the grass. When they investigate, they discover a chickadee who has been seriously injured. Emma gets a box and lines it with a doll blanket. She and her friends bring the box inside and patiently wait for hours to see if the bird will recover.

After what seems an interminable amount of time, Emma picks up the box and places it under a tree outside in the yard. They are happy to see the bird sitting up. A few minutes later, the chickadee flaps its wings and flies up into the tree.

Emma and her friends demonstrate patience, kindness and a love of nature. Children learn what and what not to do to help an injured animal. The illustrations are bright and effective. My only suggestion would be to vary the color of the text to make it a bit easier to read. Recommended for preschoolers and early elementary grade school readers.

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STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

The FED-UP Cow

Written by Peta Lemon

Illustrated by Maria Dasic Todoric

This is a cute picture book for preschoolers and primary grade children that reminds them to be true to themselves and their unique qualities. Hilda is a cow who decides one day that she would like to be a sheep. She goes to elaborate lengths to change her appearance but eventually decides being a sheep is not fun. Then she decides to become a pig. That doesn’t work out either. Finally, Hilda is sure that being a hen is the way to go. Alas, she is not accepted there. Maybe being a cow is the right choice after all.

The rhymes flow well, and the illustrations are simple, colorful and attractive. Recommended especially for children ages two through five.

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TOO GOOD TO LOSE

Lola’s Fuzzy Snuggly Blanket

Written by S.D. Dillard

Many children like Lola have a warm, fuzzy blanket that they see as a comforting friend. Lola has grown beyond the toddler and preschool years, but she continues to take her blanket everywhere she goes. One day her father asks her to leave the blanket at home when they are going out to a restaurant.

When the family return home, Lola’s blanket cannot be found. Lola is extremely upset. The next day, while cleaning, Lola’s mom finds the blanket. Lola goes back to sleeping with her blanket.

I can sympathize with Lola. One of my children was very attached to her blanket. While the premise of the story is a good one, it seems strange that Lola would be comfortable bringing her blanket to school. I think it would have been better for Lola’s dad to discuss the situation rather than tell her to leave the blanket home and then hide it. Parents and teachers might want to use this book to discuss the subject of separation anxiety, particularly with preschool and kindergarten children.

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ROOM TO GROW

The Scribbles: Inspiring Kids to Draw

Rebecca and James McDonald

This is a charming black and white book that encourages children to learn to draw. Many children feel frustrated because they lack an artistic flair. Readers are introduced to three-line drawings dubbed The Scribbles. Anyone who came across the page thought them a bunch of scribblers. One day a child came along and said hello. The child saw the great potential that each of the scribbles might be. This child could see a sun, a mountain and a tree possibility within their lines. The child was just beginning to learn to draw, but he persisted until he created a sun and a mountain. But when the child approached the third scribble, he became frustrated and disheartened. It was The Scribbles turn to encourage and motivate the child to continue until he succeeded. Soon the child was pushing himself to more complicated drawings.

I like the author’s message that there is potential to succeed if a child has the courage to persist. The amount of talent is not nearly as important as the determination to succeed. Recommended especially for preschoolers and primary grade children as a motivational tool.

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A HANDBOOK FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS

Roadmap to Navigating Your Child’s Disability
Written by Chrissie Kahan
Illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations

I would heartily recommend this book for parents and educators who are interested in navigating the tricky world of special education. For parents who suspect that something is just not right, this book provides an introduction to the types of disabilities and treatments available. Teachers who have not been trained in the field of special education need a basic understanding of the problems and resources available to treat them.

This book is divided into three sections. The first part explores the endless jargon employed in the educational testing, developing the plan, and implementing the Individual Educational Plan that each diagnosed child is entitled to have. This is a very scary and confusing process for parents. In the second section, the author explains who are the members of the team, how long the process takes, and how a parent can successfully advocate for their child. The third section is an alphabetical listing of the most common disabilities found in children, accommodations available within the school, reference links to resources, and how to reinforce what is taught in the school setting right in the home.

The world of special education is often written in legal language fraught with difficulty to understand. The way an IEP is developed and implemented varies greatly from state to state and school district. This book gives parents and teachers a good introduction and provides a readable reference source. As an educator with forty years of experience in general and special education, I would highly recommend this handbook to those about to become familiar with the special education world.

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