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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Summary: A toddler helps planting seeds, weeding, composting, sharing the harvest, and eating. In this series of illustrated books, the toddlers help parents do their daily tasks. At the bottom of the page are short sentences/questions relating to the activity on the page. This board book shows young kids how they get the food they eat.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 5; read yourself: 5 to 8
Interest Level: 1 to 6
Age of Child: Read with boys who are 3 years old and 18 months old.
Young Reader Reaction: Sometimes I picked these books, sometimes my boys did. My kids really liked the book, especially since they do help out a LOT with our daily tasks. They were easily able to relate to the story. They loved the colorful pictures, and really loved that the pages were laminated so I was able to let them flip through the books by themselves (without worrying so much about them ripping the pages).
Adult Reader Reaction: My favorite in the Helping Hands series is Grow it!. It may be because I’m a gardener, but also because the text was a little better written than the other ones. I loved the illustrations and the concept. The pictures are colorful and the families are multi-ethnic, with all skin colors represented as friends, spouses, grandparents, children, shopkeepers, etc. The toddlers are shown helping out using kid-friendly tools (plastic knives to cut the mushrooms, not the sharp adult knives to cut the peppers). These are very safe books!
Pros: These sturdy, colorful books introduce wonderful concepts and are useful on several levels. For example, kids can learn about the jobs that parents do that are usually "invisible" to them.
Cons: The awkwardness between British and US English can be problematic, but is not as evident in this book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. There are few books for this audience that talk about being part of a family on their level. It may be better to borrow this from the library or include these as part of a book swap with friends. I would definitely buy the “Grow it!” book for myself and/or for friends who are gardeners, too.
Educational Themes: This is a book that you can take outside with you to start or explore your own garden, or to the farmer's market, too. Use it as a guide book and let the kids follow the steps.
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.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, family, multicultural