CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 17 . . . . April 25, 2003
My World: A First Word Book.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2002.
61 pp., cloth., $19.99.
Picture dictionaries, English-Juvenile fiction.
/ Ages 2-5.
by Dave Jenkinson.
Notes to parents
My World, A First
Word Book was created with the help of parents, educational experts
and professional writers, especially for young children. My World
will help parents, caregivers, and teachers explore early-learning
concepts with children under the age of five, by creating an environment
that encourages communication. My World will build essential preschool
skills in the area of number recognition and development.
and with challenging questions to stimulate young minds, My World
includes the words that most children are familiar with by age five.
Bright, colourful photographs of familiar and unusual objects help
stretch children’s vision of the world around them.
The unique, themed
presentations will help young children make vital connections between
numbers, words and pictures. Building these skills is a necessary
preparation for those all-important years of school.
to the above “Notes to parents & caregivers,” the
book also provides parents and other adults with a brief guide to
“Using this book” which correctly points out that My
World is not meant to be read cover-to-cover. Instead, the child
is encouraged to browse and to set her/his own pace in “reading”
the volume. The “Contents” page reveals that the book’s
contents are arranged into 32 thematic sections, with each segment
usually occupying a pair of facing pages. After such “basics”
as Colours, Shapes, Patterns, My Alphabet, and Numbers, the book begins
in the immediate environment of the child via My body (which bypasses
the gender specific parts between the tummy and the knees), What I
wear, At home, The family, In my home, In the kitchen, What I eat
and drink, Fruit, Vegetables, Playtime, Bath time, and Bedtime. The
themes then begin to enlarge the child’s universe via In the
garden, In the workshop, At school, Out and about (parks), At the
store, On the move (forms of transportation), In the country, On the
farm, and At the beach. Finally, the book stretches the child through
Wild animals, Amazing creatures, Baby animals, Weather, Seasons and
Time. The last category, Time, does not attempt to teach children
how to tell time, but instead simply uses the time divisions they
experience, such as sunrise and sunset, night and day, plus mealtimes.
theme is introduced by a number of questions of various types which
the adult reader can elect to use as starting points for discussing
the contents of the pages’ many full-colour photographic illustrations.
For example, on the “What I wear” pages, the child is
asked, “What do you wear when it’s cold?” and “What
are you wearing now?” Some 30 clothing items are illustrated
and labeled. On the “Vegetables” page, which contains
photos of 16 different vegetables, from the more common, like peas,
potatoes and carrots, to the possibly less familiar, such as eggplant,
squash and mushrooms, the child is asked to “Name all the vegetables!
Find the potatoes! Count the green vegetables!”
and adults are sometimes included in the photographs, and they generally
represent the diversity found in today’s multicultural world.
As well, the “At home” pages include a range of types
of “homes” and go beyond the detached single house. Missing,
perhaps, is the urban high rise apartment. “The family”
page is quite traditional: father, mother, grandfather, grandmother,
son, daughter (all Caucasian) plus a dog and a cat. The “Bath
time” pages are somewhat unsuccessful regarding the photos accompanying
the words “powder,” “bubble bath” and “shampoo”
as the generic containers simply are not immediately recognizable.
the small quibbles above, My World is a book that youngsters
will likely return to many times. It merits being in all home collections
and should be part of all libraries serving this age group. Day care
facilities should also purchase it.
Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and young adult literature
in the Faculty of Education.
on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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