10 Aug, 2018
As a former educator, I am aware of the importance of making reading a pleasure. I want this book to be both enjoyable and meaningful as it expands children’s thinking, imaginations, and reactions.
If reading and learning are a pleasure for them, they may want to learn more, develop their curiosity, and have a broader understanding of themselves and their own special world.
The story-poems in Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! are followed by activities and information that relate to the stories, and are meant to expand their interests and abilities. They offer new opportunities for personal and creative experiences, and offer children a unique way to expand on what they read through their own thoughts and reactions.
They have a chance to explore words that have more than one meaning. The projects, combined with the information learned from the stories, offer opportunities to discover more about themselves, and also have a broader understanding and appreciation of others.
The topics for the story-poems are varied. One story discusses the importance of saving money and encourages young readers to make their own piggy banks. Another tells that it is fine to enjoy their own special qualities and abilities, and to use them in beneficial ways.
One story-poem, “The Dare,” encourages children to make their own decisions based on what they believe is smart or right. It gives ideas about why bullies dare kids to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. It’s a wise child who walks away from the boy who enjoys causing trouble for those who are shown no respect.
Here is an excerpt:
“The dares he makes are harmful ones, the kind he knows are wrong.
He’ll watch to see what happens next, though he knows all along.”…
…“For him a dare’s a game to play, to him it’s nothing new.
But he has lost the trust of kids, his chance for friendships, too.”
This story-poem ends with a suggestion:
“If someone plays ‘I dare you’ games, why not just walk away?
You’re far too smart to fall for dares. Imagine That! Don’t Play.”
As with each story-poem, the story is followed by a list of words that may be less familiar or new. For the dare story-poem, four of the words are “bullied,” “gullible,” “mistake,” “precaution,” plus nine others. After that, there are suggested activities with a list of thought-provoking questions that invite children to think about a time when they were dared. They are asked to write their own experiences with dares and to tell how they felt about it.
My intent with Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! was to weave valuable lessons into each story while not only making them pleasant on the ears to listen to, but also to inspire kids to think and create outside the box, and to incorporate these important lessons into the rest of their lives.
Ruth A. RadmoreBack
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She would like to see them in all of California’s elementary schools.-Rosaline Turnbull Past President of the California Parent Teacher’s Association
Yours is a comforting voice during a challenging time. Your stories are charming. Each one is uniquely warm and inspiring, and the messages are uplifting for children and parents alike. The books deserve to be in homes across the country — and the world. They remind me of one of my all-time heroes: Mr. Rogers! They are kind, nurturing, and so encouraging.-Tom Soma Former Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities
I think these books are perfect for children. They are colorful, bright, and the illustrations are awesome. I regret there were no such books in my childhood.-Ludmila Levine Chairman of the American English Department
They are fun to read. Both the writings and drawings are original. They are amazing. There are so many things that could be learned. One student commented she was also learning about American culture.-YiLing Chen Taught Women English
practical, playful, serious, affectionate, enigmatic, and varied.-Claudine DeFaye Former Professor
These books are absolutely incredible. An excellent job of inspiring children’s creativity activities.-Mosun Johnston Smith Former Teacher
The detail and care you’ve put in these stories is remarkable. I celebrated the wonderful wisdom those students reflected to me while reading your books.-Andie Cunningham Instructor