Company Information: Greene Bark Press is a family owned publishing company that publishes only books that they believe will be of benefit to young readers. Books are selected based on originality, colorfulness, and imagery. Even with all the technology that is available today, they believe that the printed word is still the best way to reading and language comprehension. They also carry select items from other companies that compliment their books.
Product Reviewed: The board book, Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again. This book focuses on a simple way to teach kids how to cross the street safely. The story follows Little Wally Waddlewater as he takes a trip to the mailbox with his mother to mail a letter to his grandmother. It goes through various scenarios where he will need to cross the street. Throughout the book and in each situation, he repeats a simple refrain that is easy for children to remember.
Price: $8.50, plus shipping
Suggested Age Range (on website): Ages 3-8
What We Liked:
What we liked about the book was that it offered a simple way to remember how to cross the street. This led to a discussion of left and right, which Jonathan has not quite mastered yet. (We all have one of those things that we take for granted and forget to teach our kids, right?) Anyways, it took awhile for him to realize that looking left is in relation to his position and not an external object or landmark. I had to show him that depending on which direction he was facing, left could be a different side. Lesson number one!
We put the book into action right away when we went to swimming lessons and had to walk through the parking lot. I liked the fact that Mama Waddlewater reminds Wally that looking once in each direction is not enough. Things can happen quickly on the road so we talked about the importance of taking one more look before crossing. It needn't take a long time, but we need to make sure! (If you're living in a country that drives on the other side of the road, you will need to reverse the refrain!)
The book also illustrates several scenarios that this technique can be applied: stop signs, when crossing the street to get a runaway ball, at traffic lights and crosswalks, railroad tracks, etc. This then led to a discussion of when we would need to look in our neighborhood.
The last thing we enjoyed about this book is the sweet illustrations. It was definitely appealing to my five-year-old, who immediately asked me to read the book to him when it first arrived!
What We Didn't Like:
While the concept behind the book is important for kids in the age range suggested, the storyline and illustrations may be a little young for kids on the older end of the spectrum. For us, it was a great time to use it as the concept and the presentation of it fit Jonathan right now. Depending on your child, they may find it a little too young for them. You may need to find another way to teach this important concept!
I'd recommend this book to kids in the 3-5 year old range as a great way to introduce the concept of how to cross the street safely. As there is really only one way to use the book, we didn't really read it more than a couple times. Here's an idea: If you are in a playgroup with other young moms, once you finish using it, pass it on to another young child...and keep it going! It is definitely sturdy enough to stand the use and would be a great way to bless and help other moms...and to get the most out of your investment!