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A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance. More

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Author: Paul M. Kramer

Illustrator: Paul M. Kramer

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Publisher: Aloha Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: In this rhyming poem, the author asks questions about sucking your thumb; whether you'd suck other objects, like plums and carrots; and tells kids about all the germs on your thumb. In the end, he says just remember to wash your hands before you put your thumb in your mouth. This picture book poem tries to alert kids to the dangers of sucking their thumb.

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

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 6 to 8

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Age of Child: Read by a nearly 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter didn't really react to this book after she read it. When asked, she did say that it made her think about sucking her thumb ... but she wasn't sure it was enough to make her stop.

Adult Reader Reaction: This book was disappointing. We have been looking for ways to help our daughter get over her habit, and this looked like it might help, because it asked questions (not lecture). In the end, it fell short. First, the rhymes didn't always work. Even though our child could read all the words, she second guessed herself when a rhyme didn't match. Also, there were a few poor examples. People do, in fact, suck plums ... so why would that sound dumb? Also, instead of saying it would be silly to suck on gum, why not turn it around as an alternative activity?

Pros: The examples and details about germs may help kids who suck their thumb think before they put it back in their mouth.

Cons: The title and subsequent questions suggest it is dumb to suck your thumb, but in the end, the author tells kids to wash their thumb. So is it dumb or not? If you want someone to change a habit, you need to give them solutions, not just tell them what they're doing is "wrong."

Borrow or Buy: Skip. This is a book with potential, but you need to add a lot of supplemental discussion in order to reach your goals.


Educational Themes: Use this book to start a conversation about changing the habit of sucking your thumb.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, health, habits

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009

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