Friday, December 26, 2008

Splish: And Then Mama Said, It Takes Time To Learn To Read

"And Then Mama Said...

...It Takes Time To Learn To Read"
This 23- page, $9.95 softbound book or CD or $5.00 e-book written by Gina Suarez and illustrated by Kevin Collier tells the story of Splish's journey to becoming a reader, and is targeted to children who are pre-readers, new/early readers or struggling readers. Even secure readers will identify with Splish's frustration as he notices everyone but him seems to be a reader.

Mama Frog's approach is a gentle one, giving the time he needs to grasp pre-reading concepts, and she keeps him interested and challenged. Splish's resiliency grows as he experiences little successes while Mama Frog continues to remind him that learning to read takes time, practice and patience.

The story and illustrations are adorable and the message is an important one for the target audience! Families can choose to read it all in one sitting, or take a page at a time, reading it together more like a mini-chapter book, reading one page of text alongside one illustration as a "chapter". We have been slowly making our way through the e-book, "chapter book" style, using a viewer that allows my children to see one page of text side-by-side with the corresponding illustration.

My daughter (w/ asd) can understand most of the story, but I don't think SHE believes SHE CAN. There is a great deal of fear in autism (many adults on the autism spectrum write and talk about fear), and my daughter's anxiety can be an obstacle to seeing her own competency sometimes. There's an anxiety for her that the story, the book itself, is just TOO LONG for her attention, and reading the e-book version on the computer means that she can't flip through the physical, tangible pages and see where the story ends. I can show her on the computer, but that is less concrete, and less concrete can sometimes mean increased anxiety. Additionally, I can TELL her that she can do something, but until she makes that discovery for herself, she's not going to fully believe me.

So, Splish has become a friend who is helping us create opportunities for discoveries, discoveries about reading, about resiliency, about patience, about understanding that we can enjoy a story, that we can indeed perservere to the end of a longer book with more text. ;)

We like Splish--we think you will, too!

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