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[The authors] found that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not... More
Summary: Wally is more than a whale, he is a wise, loved mammal. While going about his swimming day, Wally spots Torrie the Sea Turtle doing something in the sand. Every time Wally nears, Torrie stops what he's doing. This goes on for a while, and eventually Torrie shows Wally what he's been doing ... he's been teaching himself how to draw. This picture book offers a lesson in friendship, patience, and self esteem.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 8
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: I love that Wally whispers! What a great message for kids - and reminder to parents - that speaking softly is powerful. While I understood (after I read it) what Torrie was doing, I felt that this section moved forward awkwardly ... you don't have any sense of time (does this happen in one day, five days?) Kids probably won't notice that.
Pros: Brightly colored illustrations complement this story about remembering that we are each unique.
Cons: The beginning and ending are strong, but the middle changes to more formal language that may put off some readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a nice story, but the simplicity is such that your child will grow out of it.
Educational Themes: There are several layers to the book. Wally, while wise, is impatient and wants to know what his friend Torrie is doing; Torrie "appears" to be secretive - what kind of feelings does that create? Torrie is learning to draw and is shy. The story makes it easy to talk about feelings and perceptions from both characters' perspectives. There is enough dialogue to allow for partner reading and role playing, too.
Notes: The author donated an e-book (Kindle) version of this book, knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile.