In the first title, a boy tells about his special relationships with his grandparents and great-grandmother. First, he tells of the joy he experiences when he and his grandparents ride bikes, play tag, fly kites, and so on. The tone changes as the child describes his great-grandmother, who is not so active. In addition to didactically stating that as grandparents age, "they'll still be the same on the inside," the text says, "Grandma and I will always have fun baking cookies together…." But what about the grandparent who suffers from a stroke or other debilitating illness and cannot make cookies or talk, or even recognize her grandchildren? While the book fulfills its purpose of showing the importance of senior family members, it is also preachy and not entirely realistic. Roca presents short vignettes about shy children, giving simplistic solutions for the scenarios. The text jumps from topic to topic: What if you're asked your name, or you want to make a new friend, or the teacher wants you to read aloud? The last page is perhaps the most valuable part of the book: parents are given suggestions to help youngsters overcome shyness, but this same advice is available in other sources. Both titles have bright, cartoonlike illustrations.
Wendy Smith-D'ArezzoCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.