Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Do I See?

Crystal Bowman adds to her extensive list of author credits with What Do I See?, one of the first in Zondervan's new collection of bilingual books. A Level 1 (Beginning Reading) book in ZonderKidz I Can Read! series, this book invites readers to discover the sights and sounds of both the country and the city. As a bilingual book, each page offers the text first in English, then in Spanish.

As with all books in this series, a Bible verse is quoted at the very beginning. This book features Psalm 100:1 which reads "Shout to the LORD with joy, everyone on earth." After this the text offers a consistent format of a repeated introductory phrase, followed by sentences highlighting three different sites and their sounds or actions. For example:

"I walk in the country. What do I see?
I see fishes, one, two, three.
I see a worm who likes to squirm.
I see a duck who quacks at me.
Quack, quack, duck.
Squirm, squirm, worm.
Swim, swim, fishes, one, two, three."

The same pattern is repeated seven times throughout the book, each time with different sights and sounds from the country, city and home. The last page offers thanks to God for all the things we see.

The illustrations are created by photographing multi-medium settings. Pam Thompson uses various textures and techniques to create 3-D scenes -- from buttons, beads, gems and feathers to paper-piecing, felt and twine. The overall effect is unique, colorful and attractive.

What I Like: The text includes simple sentences and frequent repetition. This is valuable to increasing reader confidence. Also, I love the illustrations! My kids enjoy pointing out different textures and "hidden" elements within the photographs. The bilingual feature is perfect for children fluent in one language, but trying to learn another.

What I Dislike: If the book is trying to rhyme, it only succeeds for English readers and even then only half the time. The rhythm and meter of the text fluctuate throughout the book creating an inconsistent pattern.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: ZonderKidz, 2009; ISBN: 0310718708; Paperback; $3.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $2.99!

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $3.99.

Special Info: This book is also available with just English text. See our reviews of other early reader books. Please note that a Level 1 book in this series targets eager new readers, not those just learning phonics. Look for "My First" books in this series for first time readers.

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