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More Book Reviews

(see the other reviews here)
Some childrenís books arenít really written for children..

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop   coverMy newest favorite: Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka is a delightful poem illustrated and set in type faces that let you know exactly how the author wants the poem read. The type goes up when you raise your voice and down when you lower it. The type is bigger when words are meant to be read louder. And bigger than that when the cymbals clap. In words and pictures, this book captures how Charlie Parker played Be Bop.

Yucka Drucka Droni coverAnother delight is Yucka Drucka Droni by Vladimir Radunsky. Yucka Drucka Droni is actually the name of one of the characters. He and his brothers who have equally silly names marry women who have silly names and then they give silly names to their children. But they call all their pets Daisy. Itís a simple silly poem with equally silly illustrations. The rhythm is strong enough to capture the attention of a 6 month old child, yet unpredictable enough to keep an adult interested.

In childrenís ebooks, the direction is somewhat different. When authors want to involve adults, they seem to tell the story more for adults than for children Ė thus providing a starting point for adult-child discussions.

The Dreaming Chair - coverValerie Hardinís The Dreaming Chair, illustrated by Linnea Sinclair is about a child who has attention deficit disorder (ADD). The book is a long speech by the child explaining what the world looks like to her. Her chair is a dreaming chair where she can imagine visiting her cousin Benny and finding a dragon in Cleveland. Her mind is so busy with her plans and her thoughts about her week that she doesnít pay attention in class. One of her teachers wants to give her medicine to help her be normal, but she doesnít want to be normal. Her mom takes her to lots of doctors to find out what she is allergic to. And her reflexologist gives her a book about Thomas Edison. Then she starts dreaming up inventions like a lunch box alarm that would make noise when kids take cookies before lunch. At the end of the book, the author gives some ideas for helping children who have ADD. This book could be a good starting place to discuss ADD with a child who has it, or with a classroom of children who donít understand a classmate who has it.

You can download this book from:

Complete Book of Fingermath - coverIn addition to the ones in this book, Iíd suggest Fingermath (a system for doing all basic math functions on your fingers that was developed in Korea). ADD children are usually physical learners and this system makes math a physical activity. Hereís a basic lesson:


Ed Lieberthalís book Complete Book of Fingermath is expensive, but you can usually find used copies at www.Amazon.com and www.Half.com

Lilly Loller's Always Late - coverLilly Lollerís Always Late by Janean Nusz is about a pretty girl who is always late. Itís sort of a moral tale intended to convince children to be on time. But Lilly gets a boyfriend when she needs help for being late, so maybe it teaches the opposite lesson. The main fun of the story is the alliterations. A large number of words in this book contain the letter L. Kids love alliteration, and this book provides an opportunity to talk about the drawbacks and benefits of being late. Hey, if there were no benefits, nobody would ever do it.

You can download this book from: http://www.writers-exchange.com/epublishing/janean.htm


Lois June Wickstrom is the author of Nessie and the Living Stone and Nessie and the Viking Gold, which you can download at www.fictionwise.com. Just search for Nessie.