A few months ago, my son received a book as a gift. It was “Beach“, a tabbed, hardcover book for toddlers, which is part of Usborne’s “Look and Say” series of children’s books.
As a mom of two toddlers, and an educator, I’ve decided that these books are absolutely excellent for children, from both a parent’s and teacher’s perspective.
Each of Usborne’s “Look and Say” children’s books are hard-covered and extremely durable, even for the most active and rough of kids. (Let’s just say they can be thrown across the room repeatedly and will still be in perfect shape!)
On Usborne’s “Beach” book, there are 5 tabs leading to each chapter or page of the book. Each of these tabs is labelled with an image that is also included in the book, which even the youngest of toddlers can turn by themselves (to some kids, that’s the best part!).
Each book in the “Look and Say” series is based around a theme. Existing titles include “Weather“, “Beach“, “School“, “Town“, “Birthday“, etc.
Inside the book, there is a scene on the right page, with each of the figures and objects in the scene created from modeling clay, giving it a really sweet claymation look that appeals to children.
On the left page of each section, there are individual pictures of many of the objects included in the scene on the right. Underneath them is an easy-to-read word in print, identifying the object. This creates a fun search for children. Parents can point to the image on the left and ask the child to find the object in the scene on the right.
For instance, in the “Beach” book, there is a section with the words and images of an apple, drink, ice cream cone, sandwich and hot dog. Then, on the right side, there is a colorful image showing kids eating at a food vendor on a boardwalk by the ocean.
When I’m reading this book with my toddler, I can say “Where’s the apple?” and he will point to the apple (and say “Bopple”, his version of the word!), then find and point to the two other apples in the illustration.
At the end of the book, there is an excellent, illustrated glossary of all of the words and images in the “Look and Say” book. This is a way to review everything they just saw and learned.
As a parent, my son absolutely loves the Usborne “Look and Say” books. The “Beach” book is always the first book he runs and gets when we sit down for reading time. And with how durable they are, I can see them becoming my younger son’s favorite books later on, as well. I’ve been so impressed with them, I went and ordered two more for his birthday.
As an educator, I am impressed with how quickly my son has been able to understand and learn new vocabulary. The “Look and Say” books are perfectly set up for children, have captivating illustrations, big words, revolve around fun themes, and are set up to help children grow into a love of reading.
If you’re a parent of toddlers, or a preschool teacher, I highly recommend Usborne’s “Look and Say” books for children. They are available through consultants, some bookstores, at specialty online stores, or even on discount on sites like eBay. Usborne’s official website is located at: www.usborne.com.