CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 17 . . . . April 18, 2008
Unfortunately, all of the titles in this series are extremely didactic and are accompanied by simple, colourful but uninspired illustrations. The books are all printed on brightly coloured pages but
have a limited usefulness. My reading of these picture books was affirmed by First Nations educators with whom I shared the books before writing the reviews.
Eat, Run, and Live Healthy.
The school nurse visits the classroom with her message regarding healthy food choices and exercise, and the children remember the lessons about drinking enough water to hydrate their bodies to keep healthy by lining up at the water cooler before leaving school. In this book, there is a little more story development and humour than in the other titles in the series.
Eyes, Ears, Nose and Mouth.
Healthy Choices, Healthy Lives.
This is an anti-alcohol and anti-drug message for young children dressed up in colourful but simple pictures accompanied by a strongly bombastic text.
Living Safe, Playing Safe.
The moralistic text is partnered with bright colours in both the simple illustrations and the pages, themselves, in instructing young children in safety at school, in the kitchen and at the playground. While the three children appear in the three concise chapters in this picture book, there is no actual storyline tying the three messages together other than the obvious one of safety.
Looking After Me
The simple didactic text was created to impart lessons about the emotional life of children and the restorative love of families when dealing with emotions. Unfortunately, the book has very little plot or character development, both which should be essential in a book exploring the emotions. Both the font and the illustrative style suggest a book created by a child (or young quail as the case may be).
Collectively, the books have very limited usefulness other than as a straight teaching tool to reinforce lessons about health and safety for young children of any background.
Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of six books on storytelling and folklore.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.