Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

 photo greenbarkpress_zps9eade074.jpg

It's no secret that I love good books and reading to my children. Often a good book can make a difficult concept enjoyable enough that kids remember what they are supposed to learn.

 photo lookleftlookrightlookleftagain_zps08f68e39.jpgLook Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is a delightful board book published by Greene Bark Press. It teaches young children important safety rules to follow when crossing the street.

Wally Waddlewater (the cute duck pictured on the front cover) has a birthday card to mail to his grandmother. As he travels across town with his mother, he practices looking both ways, stops before chasing a ball into the street, listens for fire truck sirens, pays attention the traffic light, stays in the crosswalk, and finally makes it to the mailbox. Along the way, he repeats the rule, "Look left, look right, make sure the ______ is out of sight. Remember then: look left again."

The catchy "look left, look right, look left again" slogan stuck with Lauren, even after just the first reading. The other day I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a mom who stepped out into the street in front of my car. Lauren piped up from the backseat that she should've looked left, looked right, looked left again. I've also noticed that Lauren has been stopping and looking both ways (and then back to the left) before she crosses the streets in our neighborhood. She seems to have caught on to the catchy phrase from the book more reliably than she did my years of admonitions to "look both ways."

Our only complaint about Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is that it's a board book. The cartoon illustrations are geared towards a young audience, but Lauren did not mind those. She did wonder about it being a board book. In her words, "Why did we get a baby book to read?" The subject material is suitable for ages 3 through 8, but I know that most children outgrow the board book format by the time they are about 5. Perhaps it would reach a broader audience if it were just a simple picture book, either paperback or hardcover.

Children need frequent reminders, especially when it comes to something important like traffic safety. This book is definitely a fun way to reinforce those safety rules. Besides, isn't snuggling up to read a book together more enjoyable than giving a lecture?

Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is available from Greene Bark Press for $8.50. Greene Bark Press offers other board books suitable for young children, including the popular series containing Hands Are Not for Hitting, Feet Are Not for Kicking, and Germs Are Not for Sharing. They also sell a wide variety of educational games, puzzles, and toys.


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