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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Summary: To quiet her noisy students, a teacher quiets her students with a game. She gathers them in a circle and explains the game called broken telephone. Niron started the game by whispering a sentence to the person next to him. It went down the line, and when Vesna announced what she'd heard, it was nowhere close to Niron's original statement. The children's laughter hurt Vesna's feelings, giving the teacher a chance to explain the difference between laughing with something v. laughing at someone. This is a rhyming story about a classic game, and a lot more.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 8
Reading Level: 1
Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: At first our daughter didn't understand the game, because she had never played it. But she immediately connected with Vesna's feelings and felt sad.
Adult Reader Reaction: There are lots of things you can do with this book. If you're trying to introduce Broken Telephone or the Telephone Game, then this is a great way to explain the rules. The illustrations are an excellent complement, and the children's expressions help fill in where the words leave off. They also show how the kids "get" what their teacher says. I thought the book strayed, when it started talking about getting people's attention. There was nothing in the preceding 9 pages that matched with the idea that we need to "speak up" because our thoughts deserve respect.
Pros: Engaging illustrations, well-done rhyme, and light humor will engage kids in this book that explores communication and feelings.
Cons: The author introduces the idea that kids need to speak out - but the main theme of the book is how they need to listen better. There is a passing reference to two children not paying attention, but then it's not connected back to the twisted sentence that Vesna presents to the class.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The illustrations offer you a way to show kids how the game works, and the text helps them understand that laughter is for the game, but not making fun of people.