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Summary: Bella and Finny are two standard size poodles that get dressed up in outrageous outfits to help show kids the concepts of opposites -- big and small, black and white, full and empty, and more! This is a photo-illustrated concept book for preschoolers.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 5; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 2 to 5
Age of Child: Read with children ages 3 and 5.
Young Reader Reaction: My kids loved the outrageous outfits of these apparently patient dogs. From colored sunglasses to sombreros to hair nets, most of the comparisons are wonderfully clear, and it didn't take long for my kids to catch on to the concept. This was a book they wanted to read again and again. I thought my kids did a great job playing along with the pictures. They thought some of the pictures of the dogs were hilarious. They had a very positive reaction to the book.
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the first half of the book, that shows the opposites well. I didn't like the second half of the book, which was an exercise section. It basically showed the same pictures over again, and relied on the fact that you were familiar with the names of each of the dogs. Not as well done, but we just went back to the beginning of the book and read it over again!
Pros: This concept book promotes fun and humor. It did a decent job showing opposites.
Cons: The exercises were not interesting to me. I didn't feel that we got any benefit from them. Bella and Finny have 3 other books: Colors, Shapes, and Numbers. Opposites is by far the best of the set: Colors was OK, Numbers not so strong, and Shapes not good at all.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is not a keeper. It would be very interesting for a short time, but kids would lose interest quickly. HOWEVER, I would think that a teacher (preschool?) could easily use this as a classroom tool for a unit on opposites, and I would recommend a purchase for that purpose.