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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: The cartoon animals are paired with a single word that describes how the animal moves ("walk", "slide", etc.). The unique feature of this book is that it has raised areas of the page that correspond with a pattern on the animal, such as zebra stripes or the whirl of the snail's shell. This creates a texture pattern on the animal, which has been enlarged to fill the left side of the page. This is a board book that can be later used for learning to read.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 4; read yourself: 4 to 6
Interest Level: 1 to 5
Reading Level: 0.5
Age of Child: Read with boys ages 2 and 4.
Young Reader Reaction: My 2 year old liked the book when he read it with me, but he LOVED the book when he "read" it with my 4 year old. My 4-year-old turned the pages, said the name of the animal (he can't read yet), and had my 2-year-old repeating the name of the animal. This was a book we shared and they shared lots of times.
Adult Reader Reaction: I thought the book was wonderfully colorful. The pictures of animals were clear and fun, targeted well to this age group; and the raised surfaces/textures added the extra stimulation to engage the young book lover. I was a bit underwhelmed by the "text," as there was nothing really substantial to be had in just a single word on a page, and I did not think that, at this age, that different modes of movement is a concrete enough concept for them to understand. I was happy to see my child engaged in the book, and delighted that it became a book for my children to experience together. I was surprised that my 2 year old was not more engaged by the textures on the page. I was not surprised that he was stimulated by the wonderfully bright and colorful animals.
Pros: Bright, colorful, textures are stimulating for kids. The book offers a great array of non-standard animals (snail, chameleon, peacock, etc.).
Cons: The words are not interesting, although we found other ways to experience the reading without really reading the words.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book that is great for young toddlers and babies, but one that I feel might get quickly left behind as the child ages. Perhaps a good book to hand-me-down with the 2T clothes.
Educational Themes: This is a great book for young toddlers who need to be stimulated by textures in order to stay focused on the reading.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.