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Author: Janan Cain

Illustrator: Janan Cain

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Publisher: Illumination Arts Publishing Company, Inc.,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Roonie B. Moonie is ready to go. It is a perfect day to go exploring. So when Mother B. Roonie explained the rules for staying safe, he wasn't really listening. Why did she need to tell him again, for the 100th time? It didn't take long to get the answer to that question! Roonie quickly learns that exploring means staying safe, too. This picture book has a lesson for kids about getting lost and finding their way home.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 4 to 7

Age of Child: Shared with a 6-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Like Roonie, our daughter's initial reaction was "I already know this." Still, she sat and listened carefully to the story as we talked about each of the events confronting Roonie B. Moonie. She was hesitant to read it again, but not because she knew the answers. It seemed to make her a little more cautious.

Adult Reader Reaction: How can you not love a little bee in a propeller hat? The illustrations are just wonderful: whimsical, bright, fun! They remind us of David Kirk's Little Miss Spider. The story is well done, offering kids a reality-check without overplaying the dangers that life can present to them.

Pros: This brightly-colored picture book offers families a great platform to talk about getting lost. The story presents common scenarios parents want to talk about, and also offers (and repeats) strategies for the kids to use.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a very well-told story that parents will want to use at various times with preschoolers and young elementary-aged kids. Repeated reminders in a story with cute characters go down a lot smoother than Mom and Dad's advice.

If You Liked This Book, Try: DAKOTA GETS LOST (The Playdate Kids)   STRANGER DANGER!   THE GORP'S GIFT

Educational Themes: This is a book that's mostly about teaching kids safety, but it's also about communication. The story (and the parents guide at the back) offer a great platform for talking about Roonie's choices, creating your own safety plan, and practicing that plan. This is not your run-of-the-mill parent guide. It has practical advice that we sometimes forget (like teaching kids when it's Okay to leave a backpack behind).

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, safety, family

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2008

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