Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kid Konnection: I See I Learn Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a couple of books from the Stuart J. Murphy's I See I Learn series. The intent of this series is to help young children learn the skills they need to help them prepare for school and daily life. The I See I Learn series is organized around four critical learning domains:

* Social Skills
* Health and Safety Skills
* Emotional Skills
* Cognitive Skills

Summary: Sometimes Percy gets upset. He scowls and stamps his feet. But when he learns to take a deep breath, count to ten, and talk about his feelings, he can calm down. When Percy's not upset, he can have fun again! -- Charlesbridge

The first I See I Learn book that Booking Son and I read was PERCY GETS UPSET. The premise of this book is one to which both of my children definitely could relate, and one with a very important lesson. When Percy gets mad, he tends to show his temper and misbehave. With the help of his mother, he realizes that there are other ways to deal with his anger instead of acting out.

While this book is actually geared towards two to five year-olds, I was still curious to get Booking Son's impressions. He did think the book was a bit babyish; however, he laughed a lot at Percy's behavior. (Little did he know that he does all of those things on occasion!) I could also see his little mind churning while I was reading the more constructive ways to deal with anger.

At the end of the story, there is a flowchart of sorts that reviews the basic ideas of the story. For instance, there are parallelograms that show the various feelings a child can have when they are upset, and there are ovals which show the different ways that children can stop being upset. There is also a page titled "A Closer Look" which has questions that the reader can ask to the child. These questions are designed to help the child apply the lessons in the story to their own lives.

For each book in the I See I Learn series, there is a list of reasons why the book is good for your brain. In the case of PERCY GETS UPSET, the reasons include Picture Text Connection, Sequencing, Character and Plot Development. In case you're interested, this book belongs to the domain "Emotional Skills: Dealing with Frustration."

Summary: Camille loves to build sand forts at the beach. But it's hard to build a big fort alone. Camille and her friends make a plan. They find that they can get more done--and have more fun--when they work together. -- Charlesbridge

We also read CAMILLE'S TEAM which shows little ones the benefits of working in a group and planning. When Camille goes to the beach and decides to build a sand fort, her friends all want to build their own ones too. It doesn't take long for the animals to realize that they can make a bigger sand fort if they work together and break up the tasks.

Booking Son also liked this book and its lessons, but I do think it will be better appreciated by a preschool audience. There are very few words on each page and the book is phrased rather simply, so even the youngest preschoolers can easily grasp the messages.

At the end of this book, there was a page with a cute summary of the story. It was actually four little pictures with arrows between them showing the order of the lesson. If you make a plan and then work together, you can share the fun and therefore cooperate! It's hard to argue with a message like this one, especially if you've ever been the parent of a strong-willed child. There are also a few questions at the end of the story which help to facilitate further discussion with the child.

Like the book PERCY GETS UPSET, CAMILLE'S TEAM also has some reasons listed as to why this book is good for children's brains. Picture Text Connection, Sequencing, Character and Plot Development are specifically mentioned. And if you're wondering, CAMILLE'S TEAM belongs to the domain Social Skills: Cooperation.

Thanks to the publisher for sending copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I love this kind of book for youngsters. If they are well done, they can be very useful as this series seems to be.

bermudaonion said...

I love books that teach kids something in a subtle manner like that. The covers are just darling too!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

How funny about the Percy book: I think I need to read it and learn that! :--)

I added a book today, the award-winning Bird by Zetta Elliott.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I hadn't heard of this series before your post. I like the idea of a flowchart (does it show various choices and the consequences?).

LitLass said...

I'll have to get these for the 5-year-old, although I think the 8-year-old will be able to relate to the first one as well.