PreSchool-Grade 1-These attractive books present hands-on projects to accompany phonics and letter recognition lessons. Shapes presents a craft activity based on each letter of the alphabet. The author suggests the use of die-cut letters made by Ellison or Accucut, although handmade letters may be used. Sounds presents phonics activities such as a "Most Marvelous Moose" made from a brown lunch bag for the letter M. It should be noted that not all letter sounds are represented-there is no activity for soft "c" or short "e," for example. Both books include ideas for supplemental activities such as Friendly Name Plaques and Rainbow Letter Pages. Some activities, such as tying bows with thin ribbon, cutting eyeholes in paper plates, or cutting the rim off of an oatmeal box may be more than the intended audience can accomplish independently. The layout is friendly to nonreaders, including illustrations of the materials needed. However, some directions are quite text heavy. Although these books are attractively laid out with lots of white space, bright cartoon-style illustrations, and fun crafts, it is unclear whether they are intended for young children or their teachers and caregivers. Overall, the projects are engaging enough to earn a place in most collections.
Rita Hunt Smith, Hershey Public Library, PA
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