Most parents can relate to a child sticking something they shouldn’t in a bodily orifice – perhaps a peanut, a pretzel, rocks, or a paper clip. Altman and Jacobson have clearly seen their share of this, as I imagine have the many parents, grandparents, babysitters, ER doctors, and others to whom this book is dedicated. For these audiences, this book would seem a must read.
Through rhyme and repetition, the authors drill in the idea that kids should use their mouths for eating, their ears for hearing, and their noses for smelling. With careful text choices, the authors put this choice in the hands of the kids. It’s a great topic for a children’s book and a mindful approach – let the kids decide what they do or don’t do. Unfortunately the rhyming is sometimes stilted (“The doctor will have fears” rhymes, but kids might better understand “The doctor is afraid”). While computer-generated illustrations are bright and economical, they are also overly simplistic and not as engaging. Investing in the illustrations is a must for children’s books. Lastly, several Yiddish words (shofar, meshuggener, dreidel) are tongue twisters; they greatly limit the rhyming of the book. This children’s advice book has the right idea, but falls short in delivery.
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