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One of the most difficult problems that many beginning readers have is to notice those pesky little differences between letters (like b and d, and q and p). Many children don't focus that much and get a general impression of a shape when looking at a letter or a group of letters. This interesting beginning reader helps you child to "see" the benefits of studying detail more closely.
The book is primarily a series of solid shapes (mostly black on white) set off with bright colors used in some shapes, as backgrounds for others, and as rectangles around words. Each one is a different item. Some of the many items silhouetted include a bug, balloon, bed, bike, beans, flowers, mice, big mahines, elephants, ships, teapots, water dripping, bird cages, peanuts, pineapple, noses, grapes, glasses, scissors, the various shapes that gum can be pulled into, smoke, marshmallows, fires, mountains, roosters, horses, tires, camels, bees, back door keys, spider webs, clothes, garden hose, mug, imaginary beings (like a BLOGG), trombone, fish, whale and a frog. This is not all, but it is more than half.
As you can imagine, a young child will be able to identify very few while an older child will get almost all of them. Not all of the profiles have words associated with them in the text.
As a result, this book should be read in different ways at different stages of development. For example, two year olds will identify more objects if they get a hint from you. Also, if you child likes sounds, you could make a sound like the object for your clue.
For an older child, you can also work together to spell the names of the shapes that are not in the text. For someone about to graduate from the book, you could try creating some rhymes with the shapes that are not mentioned.
The book itself is simple to read, and has a typical Dr. Seuss rhyming scheme.
The key lessons are summarized as:
"Everything comes in different shapes."
"No shapes are ever quite alike."
There is also nice encouragement for your child to feel special, for having a unique shape. That's a nice tie-in to the concept of encouraging your child to notice the small differences that help in reading. This point is brought home in the end when the child narrator says, "I say, 'HOORAY for the shapes we're in!'"
This book will be of most value for a child who is starting to have some success in identifying letters, so although this is a beginning reader . . . it's not the first reader you should use.
After you have enjoyed this book, you might also do some art projects in which your child picks out items that she or he wants you to cut out. You could paste them onto a card along with the item's name, and create your own flash cards for words you child wants to learn!
Notice the small things, so you can see the big picture!