Newest Review: ... is based on the same idea, but the questions (and pictures obviously) are different. You are asked who you would like for family and fri... more
I Choose You Choose!
You Choose! - Pippa Goodhart
Member Name: Tricksty
You Choose! - Pippa Goodhart
Advantages: Lots to talk about
Disadvantages: There's no story
You Choose" by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt
Nothing is more precious than a child's imagination. Most parents know that no matter how much money you spend on fancy toys for a toddler, they will get just as much (if not more) enjoyment out of a couple of clothes pegs or an old bucket full of sudsy water. Kids seems to be pre-programmed to make believe, to imagine themselves as grown-ups, teachers, policemen or spacemen; for them imagining an alternative life is a way of life.
This book encourages kids to fantasise about life - and because it's a book, mum and dad can join in too, and perhaps get a little insight into what their kids dream of. It's not a story book - there are very few words within. Each double page spread just asks a simple question like - "What would you wear?", accompanied by a plethora of pictures, cartoon style, of a gazillion different ideas.
Each double page has a theme - I'll walk you through a few.
First we choose somewhere to go. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? The picture covers the whole gamut of earthly possibilities - mountains, valleys, forests, cities, towns, villages, desert, seaside, volcanoes or canyons - and much more. Look up in the sky and there planets to visit, or the moon, the blue sky darkening into the black of outer-space, studded with stars.
Who would you like for family and friends? Two pages of portraits - people of every hue and age, witches, aliens, monarchs, Vikings, or perhaps Father Christmas? There's a picture of a vampire which my three-year old says is "grandpa"; very telling.
What kind of home would you choose? What would you put in it? Would you travel with wheels or wings? What would you eat? Wear? Shoes? A hat? (Yes, there is a whole page of around 42 hats!). Get yourself a pet (tiger? unicorn?). Job? What would you do for fun? And finally, where would you sleep?
At first glance, it might not be obvious how to use this book, since there isn't a story. It actually works well on different levels. For younger kids, it is a fabulous source of vocabulary. You can start out teaching your baby "hat", then move on to 42 different types of hat as they grow older (and more hat-obsessed perhaps!). The pages with animals were a firm favourite with my daughter - she learnt the standard dog, cat, lion, monkey etc quickly, and has moved on to the more challenging toucan, chameleon and stick insect. The page with jobs is a little advanced for my three-year old, but means that the book is one we can return to as she gets older. The page with "fun activities" can be exploited for verbs - there are drawings of kids doing all kinds of interesting activities, from building snowmen to karate. The final pages, festooned with people in various beds, is an excellent way to draw a bedtime story to a close, as you can say n'night to everyone from mermaids to pirates (and of course Father Christmas and the vampire feature here too).
With very young babies, it's enough to point and name - "That's a lion" etc. Next, you can ask "Where's the piano?" and get them to point at the item. Later, you can ask your child "What's that?" and see how many words they can actually say. Even later you can work on ideas like counting "How many cat's are there?" or "What colour is that snake?" and further down the line you could go with "How does Father Christmas feel about going to bed with a vampire?", etc. Its possibilities are limitless, but do need to be parent lead. You could probably use this book all the way up to A level, with "Discuss the social implications of living in an inner city tower block" or "Trace the evolutionary line from the tortoise to the Dalek in 7 moves", etc.
Anyway, joking aside, this book is lots of fun. It's bright and jolly, different every time you read it, big square and slim, and can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Recommended.
Summary: Inviting book good for probing the imagination