CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 36 . . . . May 18, 2012
This contemporary picture dictionary is perfect for toddlers and tots learning about all the objects and activities that make up their world.There is so much to learn, and it’s all labelled! From sunup to sundown, children come into contact with hundreds of articles, items, toys, gadgets, whatchamacallits and doodads. They are taken along for strolls, walks, rides and adventures. They learn games, ideas, methods and approaches. They engage with parents, siblings, pets, caregivers and strangers. Seasons come and seasons go.
Picture My Day follows three apple-cheeked children (two girls and a boy) and their parents through typical days in all seasons, making it a useful book all year round. Children get up and are served breakfast, get dressed from clothes hanging on the laundry line and continue on – even sulking when it’s time for the dreaded daily hair combing ritual. It goes on until the children are bathed, read a book and sleeping peacefully.
The simple, pleasant illustrations are accurately drawn. Plain colour backgrounds make the objects stand out, but the authors add gentle shadows to keep them from being stark. The father is obviously on a day off because he needs a shave. It’s a nice touch that makes the illustration richer.
Young children will be able to hold this 6” x 8” book easily. The flow of images make it inviting for children to turn the rounded-edged pages and study the pictures. The drawings show the wide range of objects that are used in average households. A parent reading the book with a child will generally be able to associate versions of the object with something used in the child’s own home. The children will identify with the kids in the book, doing what children do - blowing waterspouts in the bathtub, “acting silly”, playing and exploring.
The text is spare, but descriptive, including “Let’s go outside”, which shows a child on a father’s shoulders and “listening to the wind” as a caption to a bundled-up child standing by herself in the breezes.
Picture My Day will make be a delightful and welcome addition to a young child’s bookshelf. Parents and caregivers will find it a useful way to teach a child to attend to reading and teach concepts and the names of objects, activities in life. The design adds an element of fun that children will enjoy and which will keep them coming back as they grow up and ready to take on the world themselves.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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