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"Looking good just like me" is a book we have borrowed from the library. I have to admit I picked it up very quickly and choose this book at a glance because I was hoping that it would be helpful for my son to learn different body parts.
About the author
Jess Stockham was born in 1957. She completed a foundation year at Watford Art College. In 1990 she started illustrating full-time for various popular women's magazines and mother and baby publications.
About the book
This is a board book with flaps. The flap is an extension as it were to the double page. Each double page contains and animal and a description such as
"Elephant had floppy ears"
"Bush baby has bright eyes"
"Fox has a pointy nose"
"Crocodile has a big mouth"
"Lizard has little fingers and toes"
on the second page a flap opens to reveal a child/baby exclaiming now this is the bit I struggle to remember right it is either "just like me" or "so have I "
Amazon has this to say about the book "encourage interaction and discussion. Designed with the Early Years Foundation Stage in mind to encourage a Healthy Child in terms of self-awareness and esteem."
This book didn't really appeal to my son and he would often just close the book straight away when we started to read it and go and select another one. I think the reason for this was though the animals were bright and friendly looking he just didn't identify with the illustration of the child. This looked cartooned really think a combination or Rugrats and the Tombliboos from "In the night garden" and that will give you an impression of the children in the book.
As he didn't engage with this book it didn't really help him learn the various body parts either as I had hoped. As he didn't read it very much I can't really comment on how well the flaps coped with being turned and their durability
I had some misgivings after reading this book through a couple of times about the wording. Especially I guess after reading two reviews this week on dooyoo about obesity and the power words have to hurt people. I am not sure that floppy ears, pointy nose and a big mouth are something I want my son to think about himself really. Because of this I am even more surprised when writing the review that the Early Years Foundation were involved in it and think it is good for self-esteem, surely no child wants to think they have floppy ears? After all I am sure Prince Charles has been hurt over the years by comments about his "big elephant ears" and spitting image puppet's with the same. Now you can say I am reading too much into these simple words for a child, but as both a mum and some-one who works in psychiatry I know the importance of these formative years on some-ones self-esteem and self image. If you start with horrible names and descriptions at this age where does it stop and how quickly will that child believe these things about themselves. It is with this in mind I returned this book to the library and prior to this moved the book away from the others in the book pile so we wouldn't read it. Now I am sure there will be plenty of people who will read this review and think I am being too sensitive but we know children are like sponges at this age and just soak up information. I don't want my son to soak up possible nasty thoughts about ears noses etc that aren't true and risk not only him thinking this about himself but maybe saying them to about other people. Anyway pausing for breath and climb down off my soapbox, for these reasons I am giving this book just one star and wouldn't recommend it to other parents.
Board book: 12 pages
Publisher: Child's Play (International) Ltd; Pop Boardbook edition (1 Dec 2006)
Currently on offer at Amazon for £4.99
Looking Good Just Like Me!
This was another booked we loaned from the library, just to give Jake a little more variety from the books we already own at home. He likes touchy feely books and having stories read to him but tends to tear the fiddly fold out flaps from some books we have with these in. I had checked this booked over before we loaned it and had noticed that the flaps are really big and don't have lots of fiddly shapes on them and I was confident that this would be better for my son.
'Elephant had floppy ears', 'Bush baby has bright eyes', 'Fox has a pointy nose', 'Crocodile has a big mouth' and Lizard has little fingers and toes' are the wordings on each of the five double pages, each with a picture of the relevant creature with the entire second page flap opening to reveal a child exclaiming 'so have I!'
I actually has mixed feelings about this book. I think that the illustrations are okay and the variety of animals quite good, not every baby book has a Fox or a lizard in it. The flaps are big enough for Jake to get his tiny fingers around with ease without destroying the pages. However, I am not keen on the wordings used. '...floppy ears', '...pointy nose', '...big mouth'. My concern over this is that Jake will learn these phrases and use them to tell me loudly in a queue at the supermarket... 'mummy that lady has floppy ears/ a big mouth/ a pointy nose'. I do know that children can say the funniest things and often never a truer word is spoken but it is just not something I want to encourage. I may be being daft but my view is that this book is perhaps a little mean!!