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A young boy describes himself as "loud as a lion," "quiet as a clam," "tough as a rhino," and "gentle as a lamb"
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"I'm as quick as a cricket, I'm as slow as a snail. I'm as small as an ant, I'm as large as a whale." Parents and teachers choose this big square book for the message of self-confidence. Toddlers love it for the singsong phrases and Don Wood's large, silly, endearing illustrations, which feature a boy mimicking different kinds of animals. At one point, he is pictured sipping tea formally with a fancy poodle ("I'm as tame as a poodle") and on the very next page he is swinging through trees ("I'm as wild as a chimp"). Whether brave or shy, strong or weak, in the end the young boy celebrates all different, apparently contradictory parts of himself. With a confident grin, he lifts his arms up and declares, "Put it all together and you've got ME!" (Baby to age 6)From the Publisher:
Because Mrs. Honey's dream is so much like the dreams we really have, it will encourage children to talk about their own dreams. We can help them to see that the bizarre series of events that often characterize their dreams is actually quite typical of dreaming. The common elements of dreaming, flying, falling, being trapped, drowning, incongruous circumstances and waking suddenly in the middle of a crisis, are all part of Mrs. Honey's dream.
Mrs. Honey's cat, Thomas, knows what happened to the dream pirates - they got rid of them by waking up. Children should always be reassured of that, as real and often overwhelming and frightening as dreams may seem, they exist only in our minds and are gone when we wake. At the same time, exploring links between our dreams and our feelings can be fun and can help us to understand ourselves better.
Suggest that children make up their own dream-like story and enter it in the "Dream a story Competition" described at the end of the book.
Children will like the colourful vocabulary. Words like, "enormous, glaring, rabble, rigging, cutlasses, bellowed, sneered, and collapsed" show the respect Child's Play has for children's capacity to enjoy and use a high quality of language.
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