I don’t read a lot of preschool books anymore as my youngest is 10, but I was sent a variety of books from Jumping Cow Press that are great examples of how to capture a child’s attention.
One of the best concepts for preschool books is repetition. It is a tool to help a child build vocabulary and recognize letters. We are also told to not just read to young children, but to engage them in the reading and ask them questions. The “Cows Can’t Jump…” series does accomplishes both of these goals. Dave Reisman and illustrator Jason A. Maas use short rhythmic sentences and cute drawings to tell their tales while leaving room for caregivers to ask children their opinions and ideas about what is going to come next.
Each of the books in the series follows a familiar pattern of having a cow not be able to do a given thing and then turning the page and finding what a cow can do. But we also know that each animal is different, so if a cow is able to moo, than we need an animal that can’t, on an on until sleep, something every animal can do.
A child won’t notice this, but the books are intended to send a message about self-esteem, respect, and tolerance. Sure, all of the animals have their own traits, but there is a common theme that runs through each of the books showing that we are all interconnected. In the same way, we are all one human race. We might look a little different, speak a different language, or eat different things, but there are similarities as well and we should all be proud of what makes us different. An unusual thread for a preschool book indeed.
While I did receive these from the publisher, all opinions are my own. Another added bonus is that many of these books are also available in an English/Spanish version. A surprisingly good find!