My 10-year old nephew and I read books together every week and he draws a picture from the pages that captures his fancy. As a budding bookworm, artist and a child with an autistic aphasia we bond through stories and art.
Wade’s Wiggly Antlers
by Louise Bradford
Illustrated by: Christine Battuz
Published May 2nd 2017
by Kids Can Press
Wade is a moose in the midst of winter. One day playing with his friends he notices his antlers are wiggly. This worries him and he runs home to his mom who tells him they will grow back in the summer. This doesn’t reassure him and he struggles to deal with the idea that they will be gone… once they do fall off he is amazed at how he feels.
This story has a lovely message that rang true with me as an adult looking after children. It seems to be based on loosing a tooth or other bodily changes. I love how it is connected to a very natural happening in a moose. It makes the message relatable in a way that teaches a child to relate others problems to themselves. I also appreciated how mom was treated in this story as a source of information when one is fearful. Wade still had to work out for himself whether or not losing his antlers was a good thing or not but he had the knowledge his mother shared with him as a starting place. So another teaching moment about how to solve worries.
I have the wonderful position of being able to relate what the target audience may think about the book. My nephew and I started reading story books together earlier this year. At first only 2 or 3 a week and now we read one almost 5 days a week and he does a drawing of his own from one of the artists drawings. This creates an environment where we talk about what he enjoyed in the book and which pictures struck a chord with him.
There was a really nice balance of words on each page and we really enjoyed how different scenes were framed. I particularly loved the art too. It was bright and colorful with lovely patterns in the backgrounds. Unfortunately, my nephew really struggled with a lot of the words in the book. To the point where I’d have to read whole lines to him. This is not above his reading grade at all either, there were just quite a few unfamiliar words that don’t regularly come up in other picture books. Because of this we got to the bedroom scene and he didn’t really understand what was going on. We had to backtrack and go over what was happening in each picture again. Once we did that he picked up the thread of the story and said he really enjoyed it in the end.
It may be a pro or a con for a child depending on their love of reading. The struggles he had didn’t overtly concern my nephew because we read so many books and he doesn’t have troubles for the most part. I wouldn’t suggest it for children who don’t already love reading. It really does have such a worthwhile message though… and I really like the fact this is a book set in winter. It can be read all year long and not be advertising Christmas but its also great for the season.
BOTTOM LINE: A winter wonderland message book…
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.” Netgalley is a special section of my book discussions where I post reviews of the digital books I read through this service. It’s quite amazing the gems you can find. I’ve yet to regret reading a book, even if I don’t like it…