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In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasin... More
Summary: Mr. Patterson's second graders transformed their classroom into a rain forest. That weekend, Cammie took home Sunflower, the class parrot. With a little Sunflower magic, Cammie and Cooper got a chance to see a rain forest first hand and learn more. This is a story for young readers about conserving the earth's resources.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 7; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with 4-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: It wasn't easy getting our preschooler to sit through the story. S/He loves animal stories and magic, but after a few pages, s/he was done. After a couple weeks of trying, though, we did get her interest turned around (albeit temporarily).
Adult Reader Reaction: We can partly see why our child lost interest. The premise is great and the parrot "magician" is wonderful. But the story itself seems flat and takes leaps that don't make sense.
Pros: The illustrations are fabulous. The author introduces a theme at a level that young listeners/readers can comprehend. The fact sheet and information at the back is great for parents who want to expand on the topic beyond the story.
Cons: Even as a fantasy, the story makes some unrealistic leaps and diminishes the impact of the ending, making it sound like fantasy, too.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The author does a great job of speaking to children at their level. There are plenty of rain forest books, but not many that make conservation relevant to a young child's life.