If your family is like mine, you have bookshelves galore. Books stuffed in every nook and cranny. Board books stacked precariously, ultimately toppled by grubby hands of book-loving toddlers. Chapter books strewn about with pages lovingly folded over marking places. And of course, the neverending supply of schoolbooks. It seems like there is always someone telling me they have nothing to read...and I try hard to cheerfully ask, "Have you checked the bookshelf?" This has just recently started with my first grader. He runs out of reading material very quickly, or so he believes. He wants to be a big boy like his siblings and read to the little ones, but sometimes it's hard to find one he can handle all on his own and keep the attention of the two year old. That's why when TOS sent us A New Take on ABC's - S is for Smiling Sunrise from WordsBright, I knew he would be pleased.
WordsBright is a new publisher based in California whose goal is to develop vibrant and engaging children's books that educate as well as entertain. The author of Smiling Sunrise, Vick Wadhwa, wanted to give his two year old daughter an alternative to the traditional "A - apple" alphabet books, so he developed a book with simple poems for each letter. He believes that toddlers are able and eager to learn more words than we may typically expose them to, as well as learn about character-building concepts even at this young age.
While it is a great book to read to little ones, this book can be used with older children, too. It is actually recommended for preK to 3rd grade. The learning guide available gives you opportunities to have discussions with your older children about the concepts introduced throughout the book, For example, when learning about butterflies, the learning guide prompts you to ask your child questions like, "Have you ever touched a butterfly? Is it hard or soft? Isn't it wonderful that a butterfly's wings are so soft, and yet strong enough to fly?" One of my favorite things about this book is that it gives early readers an opportunity to shine by reading to younger siblings.
They have also created a song set to the "Twinkle Twinkle" music to download as a supplement. Our review cam with the song on cd, and we listened to it a few times. We actually preferred to read the book rather than listen to the song. While the book is in poem form, it definitely did not fit into the song very well, and I found it kind of off-putting. The poems aren't actually poems, either. Occasionally, the words and timing come together to give you a rhythm, but we found it easier to read it as prose rather than poetry.
The pictures in the book are vibrant and beautiful. Castle loved having it read to him, but he would also sit on his own and just look at the pictures. I think the pages are pretty durable, too - which is a huge bonus to a mom with little kids! One of my biggest stresses in life is a book with torn pages. :)
Something I found funny about Castle's reaction to the book: his insistence that he knew what was in the picture! When we got to the page G is for Gift - Castle saw it and immediately said, "Present, Mama, present!" I told him that it was G for Gift, and he said, "Yeah, G for present!" He did the same thing for I - Infant. I told him I is for Infant, and he said, "I is Baby!" Sigh...now, for normal children, this probably won't be an issue...but I've never claimed to have normal children! ;)
I think S is for Sunrise is a good introductory book for this upstart company WordsBright. I will definitely have my eye out for their next book due out in 2016.
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Check out the Review Crew and see what others had to say about S is for Sunrise here: