Posts from the ‘toddlers’ Category

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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LIVE AND LEARN

Once Upon a Bedtime

Written by Sarah Mazor

Illustrated by Sergii Zavadskyi

Another adorable rhyming book from Sarah Mazor. This delightful collection of rhymes features clever characters like a microphone riding a bike, cottage cheese skiing, a banana riding a horse, and a house dressed in a red blouse. Young children will laugh at the nonsensical but funny anecdotes. Not only will they learn common objects, but they will learn what’s wrong with this picture.

The illustrations are beautifully done in vivid colors and apt expressions. Bonuses include a generous collection of riddles for readers to solve once they finish the story. Mazor provides four possible answers for each as well as extension activities for the riddles to provide additional learning.

This is the first book in what promises to be a wonderful series. This book is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, but older readers will also love it.

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WHO DOESN’T NEED A HUG

Who Needs a Hug?: Everybody Needs a Hug

Written and Illustrated by Sally Huss

 

One morning a koala bear wakes up in an exceptionally good mood. He shouts out, “Who needs a hug?” A hippo passing by thinks a catch might be attached so he asks if it is free. The koala scampers down from his eucalyptus tree and hugs the hippo with all his might. Feeling satisfied, the hippo wanders off. The koala renews his offer, hugging any animal that responds to his request. Before long, he has added a giraffe, a porcupine, a brown bear, a snake, a badger, and a tiger to his hugging list. Eventually, the koala comes to a pond for a drink and repeats his question, “Who needs a hug?” This time the answer surprises him.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but children and adults can use a hug any time of the year. The illustrations in this book are whimsical and charming. They need not all be realistic, I enjoyed seeing a blue koala and a purple hippo. This book reminds preschoolers and primary grade children that expressing affection and kindness without expecting anything in return is a valuable reward in itself. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud discussion book.

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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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