I have my own room and sometimes I'm afraid at night. What can I do so that I don’t get scared? Kind Kendra has some fearless advice on how to be brave.
Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'ArezzoWhat scares young children? Noises in the night, talking to older adults, spelling bees? Finn introduces Kendra, a fifth grader who writes an advice column for younger children. On each double-page spread is a letter to Kendra detailing a fear accompanied by an answer from Kendra. For example Jesse writes, "I am scared of a dog that lives by our house. What can I do?" Kendra advises Jesse to visit the dog with an adult, speak to the owner, and in essence confront his fears. This is accomplished in language that is easily understood by a young reader and treats the fear of dogs as something that many people face, not belittling Jesse but helping him to move beyond this fear. Children and adults from a variety of races and gender roles are represented in the illustrations, which are cartoonish in style and digitally rendered with bright primary colors. The language and illustrations combine with the concept to appeal to those aged four to about eight. The advice is simplistic, but also realistic and on a level with the age of the potential audience.
School Library JournalK-Gr 2-These character-education titles follow the same question-and-answer format as the "Kids Talk" series (Picture Window) but are intended for a younger audience. A fictional fifth-grade counselor, introduced at the beginning of each book, provides "Dear Abby"-style advice to children. Most responses are only a few sentences long, giving just one simple solution to each problem. For example, a child who is afraid of a dog is advised to face his fears by getting to know the dog and its owner. While this may work in certain situations, no mention is made of what to do if, for example, the animal is truly dangerous. Each book concludes with a multiple-choice quiz and a "Hero File" on a famous person relevant to the topic. Readers are directed to the publisher's FactHound Web site, which offers age-appropriate, up-to-date links and suggested reading on each subject. Digital illustrations of a multicultural cast of characters accompany the texts. Although the books are not comprehensive in their approach, they offer some worthy advice, and with adult guidance, they will provide a starting point for further discussion.-Melinda Piehler, Sawgrass Elementary School, Sunrise, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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