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WHAT A MOTHER WOULD DO

Author: Dayna Kay Rivers

Illustrator: J. Victoria Mohr

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Publisher: Knife in the Toaster Publishing Company, LLC, 2002

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mother Nature in the embodiment of all her helpers--the moon, the forest animals and the trees--protect a little girl lost and alone in the woods one evening. This is an imaginative story that reminds us that we are never truly alone.

Type of Reading: family reading, bedtime story

Recommended Age: read together: 0 to 4; read yourself: 6 to 8

Age of Child: started reading at nearly 3 years old

Young Reader Reaction: It took several readings before this book caught on. S/He likes to talk to the lost girl and tell her everything will be okay. This isn't a regular request, but periodically we hear excerpts during our walks in the yard or the park.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a comforting story, with nature and magic woven together artfully into a beautiful poem. You'll never walk alone in the forest again. When the wind blows and an owl hoots, you'll know that you're protected.

Pros: The book flows nicely and the illustrations complement the story. You and/or your child can give the girl a name to make the story more personal.

Cons: There are times when the cadence seems to hesitate.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. While it is a nice story, there are others that may be more appealing. The book is not likely to be attractive to middle readers.

If You Liked This Book, Try: LIZZY AND SKUNK   HUG  

Educational Themes: The book's setting makes talking about nature an easy topic. You can also talk about being lost, overcoming fear, seeking help and knowing that someone always loves you… even when you get separated.

Notes: There is conflicting information about the target audience for this book. At bn.com it is listed as "infants and preschoolers" at borders.com, the audience is 9 to 12 years old.

Literary Categories: fiction - poetry, nature, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2004

Other Reviews: See series of Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at bn.com (Barnes & Noble) and reader feedback at borders.com. None found.

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