My surprise and pleasure in searching for books to review was looking at one book but finding four in a series. Cass Kim has a series of over-the-top storybooks that will surely help speech students, speech/language pathologists, and parents.
Repetition, repetition, repetition and interactivity! That is how we learn speech sounds. That is how we learn language and vocabulary and phonological/phonemic awareness. Cass Kim understands this as she writes her books for young children. She also understands that it should not be boring repetition and should also be interactive. Best of all, Ms. Kim includes some examples (given by the characters in the book) on how the sounds are produced within the context of the story.
Ted and Tina Adopt a Kitten
Travel with Ted and Tina Adopt a Cat to give children the opportunity to repeat the alveolar sounds, /t, d, n/ about 200 times within the context of the story. Ms. Kim also gives a nice little introduction on the sound production (placement of the tongue) by the children, Ted and Tina, in the story.
From there the story takes the children through the process of choosing a pet and why and how, all the time using their new sounds, teaching additional language skills (color, size, other adjectives) along the way. What will they choose? Will it be a big or little kitten? What color will Ted and Tina choose? What other fun attributes like soft and cuddly will your child learn?
Greg and His Gecko Go Kayaking
This book takes children on a pretend journey to the ocean to learn the /g/ and /k/ phonemes. As in Ted and Tina Adopt a Kitten, the sounds are repeated many times after the characters give the listeners a fun analogy (use the back of the pushed up high like a mountain). This book encourages interactivity (research shows that physical activity in conjunction with teaching enhances learning). Help the students make a pretend kayak out of sticks while practicing the sounds.
There is quite a bit of analytical thinking going on by Greg as he plans and builds the kayak. Should he choose paper, stones, or sticks for the kayak – why and why not? Again, the author, Ms. Kim, adds language skills like inferencing, counting, and sea vocabulary.
Stephanie’s Spectacular Aquarium Visit
Stephanie’s Spectacular Aquarium Visit is along the same lines as the others but is for children who are a little older due to the /s/ blend sounds being a bit later. Again, the children learn their sounds while learning vocabulary. In this case there is a lot to learn with all the animals that Stephanie sees on her aquarium visit, eels, snakes, seahorses, starfish, crabs, turtles, sharks and so many more. Ms. Kim does an excellent job of presenting the fun animals in a way for memory. “Can you hold your breath for seven hours like a turtle?”
Wendy’s Winter Walk
This was the first of Cass Kim’s books. It targets the sounds /p/, /b/, /m/, /w/. It along with the other books teaches phonological awareness skills (perhaps the most important determinant of successful reading skills). Wendy and her mom are bundled up in their “warm, winter, wear”.
These are all excellent books that include suggestions for parents that will not overwhelm either the parents or children. The children will enjoy the colorful and fun illustrations of Ted and Tina as they jump for joy and show other fun emotions while producing their phonemes. What child would not be thrilled to open a book and see a kid standing there with a gecko on his shoulder. Enjoy the excitement if the child being a part of these books with all the characters.
We will look forward to more excellent storybooks by Cass Kim that entertain while teaching speech and language skills. Check the Phonological Articulation Children’s Books website for songs to accompany the books.