Written by Johanna Skibsrud and Sarah Blacker, illustrated by Julie Morstad
This book is beautiful to look at and has a fun, predictable rhythm for reading out loud. The narrator is a parent speaking to their child, relating them to different animals. This is particularly fun to kids because it seems so absolutely silly to them, since children aren’t capable of thinking in surreal hypotheticals like that. Then the narrator talks about the trait the child and animal have in common but ultimately concludes that they’re not that animal. We see beautiful illustrations of different animals and it has a wide variety of really sweet traits that eventually lead up to the parent saying that their child, in fact, is a perfect baby. It’s perfect for sweet reinforcement of positive traits and giving affectionate attention, and can be read smoothly as the parent talking directly to the child.
During the reading:
- Having lots of eye contact and positive physical contact during reading time can really motivate kids to read and help them to enjoy it (unless your child doesn’t like physical touch, of course). So as you read the section about the monkey, move your child’s arms and legs in a fun, silly way like a monkey, and do the other actions throughout the book together with them to make it a fun, active reading.
- On the page before each animal is named, we see a little glimpse of them in the illustration. See if your child can name what the animal will be before you flip the page!
- As you go through the different animals, if you’ve seen one together (at a zoo, friend’s house, or your house, etc.) ask them if they remember the way that animal moves or eats or whatever you’ve seen them do together. Drawing connections like that between what you’re reading and what your child has experienced will help them to enjoy being really involved in the reading time instead of it being a passive activity and will foster open, close communication with them. You can also share experiences with those animals or the traits named that go beyond the story.
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Have you tried any of these ideas? Comment below to share how they worked for your family!