Thursday, November 9, 2017

Children's Books: Teaching Good Social Skills

I'm an advocate for kidlit, especially books that teach children good social skills. I came across these two books that I wanted to feature here. My dad always said, "Education begins at home." How true. And storytime is a perfect way to open up our children's world.

My review follows each book's description.

Book Details:

Sonya Sahni and the First Grade by Soma Mandal
Illustrated by: Tim Williams
Published: June 13, 2017
Published by MindStir Media
Softcover picture book: 40 pages
For children ages 4-8
Content rating: G

Book Description:

Sonya is torn between her roots. She was born in the USA but her parents are Indian...she desperately wants to fit in and be American. Her parents want her to embrace who she is, but Sonya feels like a misfit. This is a wonderful story about a little girl who discovers her identity and learns to appreciate who she is. A must read for any child or adult who feels different from the rest of the world.

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My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Being the child of immigrant parents, I could relate with Sonya's issue of wanting to be like her American friends. This book brings out the message that children of immigrant parents must embrace that they are part of two cultures and are to be proud of their heritage. Educating children about other countries and their culture is a good way of teaching children to respect differences.

The narrative is told in poetic rhyme, and I personally would have preferred the story format. Sometimes the rhyming was good, but in other instances it felt like some words were included only because they rhymed with the last word in the previous sentence and not because they fit with the narrative.

The illustrations are endearing and colorful. The facial expressions clear and conveying emotions. Each 2-page spread contained one page with a border of various flags, emphasising the theme of the book. Parents can also use this to teach which flag belongs to which country.

Overall, this is a good book for Indian parents and any parent really who wants to address the issue of how to deal with a child who doesn't fit in because they are different. It would also be a good teaching aid in the classroom.


Book Details:

Freddie the Fly: Motormouth: A Story About Learning to Listen by Kimberly Delude
Illustrated by: Brian Martin
Published: Sept 15, 2017
Published by Boys Town Press
Softcover picture book: 32 pages
For children ages 4-8
Content rating: G

Book Description:

Freddie the Fly likes to talk and talk. He's so busy buzzing about the latest gossip, he can't listen to anyone else. Freddie doesn't realize how much of a chatterbox he is until he meets Mesquita. Her mile-a-minute mouth makes Freddie seem like a mute. Freddie the Fly: Motormouth is a humorous take on the problem of never opening your ears while always flapping your yap. Appropriate for readers in pre-k to third-grade, this colorful storybook teaches kids how to control their conversations and be excited about listening to, and learning from, others.

Buy the Book:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

From the first sentence in this book, I was hooked. Freddie is a smart, funny, curious and endearing character. I just loved him from the get-go. He tells his story in the first-person narrative and I could easily see how children will quickly become enraptured by his story. 

Freddie has a motormouth and gets very excited when he wants to tell his friends things. He likes to share all the things he knows but doesn't know that he isn't listening which causes his friends  to fall asleep. His teacher invites him to the Motormouth Club where she teaches them the skill of listening. Freddie works hard to practice this skill and learns new things about others when he starts to listen to them.

With fun insect characters, humor and a lively narrative, Freddie the Fly is not only super fun to read but it's also educational. I thought the skill of how to stop and listen was ingenious. An easy way for children to remember how to pause before continuing to talk. Very practical for anyone, including adults! It's not surprising that the author is a speech-language pathologist. 

The illustrations are goofy, bright and fun. They fit perfectly with the topic, narrative style and age group. I think this book would be an excellent addition to any daycare, school or home library. Highly recommended!

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of both books. I was not told how to rate or review these products.

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