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BIG DAY OUT (First Time Series)

Author: Jess Stockham

Illustrator: Jess Stockham

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Child's Play, Ltd,

Material: board book

Summary: A trip to the science museum is a BIG adventure! I help plan and pack, stay with mommy, and eat lunch in the cafeteria. I get lost and I cry, but Mommy finds me again. I fall asleep on the ride home. Each of the books in this series addresses a situation in which a child might have anxiety. They portray each experience as being FUN and EXCITING with LOTS of chances to play and learn new things. We also learn a bit about how to behave. This board book series helps kids prepare for new and exciting events.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 2 to 5

Age of Child: Read with a boy who is 3 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: My son liked these books because they were colorful and he could relate to them. We didn’t have any NEW experiences like in these books to test whether they were effective in alleviating his fears, but he enjoyed them anyhow, particularly the one about Nursery School, since he IS familiar with that activity, so he could relate to it. The illustrations were very colorful and my son LOVED leafing through the pages on his own, book after book after book!

Adult Reader Reaction: I thought these books were wonderful to help initiate a discussion with my child about taking on a new experience. Even if they aren't having issues with any of these activities (such as having a hard time accepting the babysitter/mommy and daddy leaving the house), I think these would be a valuable resource for addressing the issue and helping the child cope — helping them see the FUN aspects of the activity and alleviating some of the anxiety. I also loved that the book was published as a hybrid board/paper page book; the pages were made from thick, laminated card stock that was thinner than a board book, making it less bulky yet wonderfully resilient to little hands. It really encouraged independent “reading” (i.e. looking at the pictures).

Pros: The pictures in these books are wonderfully illustrated with bright colors and LOTS of happy kids. The text is minimal, and helps to promote discussion about the situation. This book talks about being lost and what to do in a very helpful way.

Cons: The text is a little awkward, but still sufficient for initiating a discussion.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! I would buy one or more of the books if you are planning on that activity. The Big Day Out covers a lot of ground, so you might want to start looking at it about a month before you're planning a museum (or similar) trip.

If You Liked This Book, Try: NURSERY (First Time Series)   NO T REX IN THE LIBRARY   NINE FAMOUS ARTISTS YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE; An Art Discovery Primer and Handbook for Parents and Their Children

Educational Themes: The books are designed to help kids dealing with their fears and prepare them for specific types of activities and the appropriate behavior that goes with it. The minimal text and bright colors encourage the kids to "read" the books themselves, which may also help them process the information at their own pace.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book series, family, growing up

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2010

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