Title: Easy-to-Say First Words: A focus on final consonants | Author: Cara Tambellini Danielson | Illustrator: Mary Tambellini | Publication Date: March 27, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 36 | Recommended Ages: 1 to 4 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: This book was developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist to help your child learn first words and improve articulation. Unique and engaging illustrations will capture your child’s attention. The target words in this book are easy-to-say because they are one-syllable words that contain early-developing consonants. Since the words in this book are common first words, this book can be read with any child who is learning to talk. A parent guide explaining how to help your child with his/her speech and language skills is also included.
My Thoughts: This is one of the most unique books I’ve run across in a while. This sweet little picture book targets children just learning to speak with its bold, bright colors, beautiful images, and simple text. Before someone even begins to read the book with a child, there is a reader guide, written by the author, Cara Tambellini Danielson, who just happens to be speech language pathologist. This guide outlines concrete ways that readers can best use this book to effectively engage with a child (e.g., make sure the child can see your face, pause before the last word on each page, respond with enthusiasm, etc.)
Each two page spread features one simple word ending with a consonant (e.g., “up”, “mop”, “cup”, “hat”). Each of the 15 words in the book ends with a consonant and they are very simple words that children would hear in their day-to-day lives. The featured word is repeated three times, followed by a simple sentence.
The hot air balloon goes up.
This formula for the text reminded me of another famous early literacy expert, Dr. Seuss and the book Hop on Pop. However, the words are not repeated three times in Hop on Pop; rather, each page features rhyming words with similar endings followed by a sentence which incorporates each word:
Jim is after him.
I actually like the more focused approach of Easy-to-Say First Words as I feel it will be more effective for younger children. I think it also makes sense because Easy-to-Say First Words is intended to teach children how to SPEAK their first words; whereas Hop on Pop is designed to help children learn how to READ their first words. The text and layout of the book is absolutely superb!
Illustrations can sometimes make or break a book. Because there are so few words in the book, and because the target audience is so young (1 to 3 or 4), the illustrations must be eye-catching, uncomplicated, and must go hand-in-hand with the text. The book is illustrated by the author’s mother Mary Tambellini who uses her skills designing homemade greeting cards to create AMAZING accompanying pictures portraying each word in action. If children look closely, they’ll see a feather here, a piece of string there, and all kinds of whimsical patterns and surprises in the illustrations. LOVE THEM!
My Bottom Line: Easy-to-Say First Words is a baby/toddler book focused on early speech and language development. The book is written by a speech-language pathologist and is brilliantly illustrated using paper cut-outs by her mother who also designs greeting cards. This book is the total package – I am literally blown away by how well designed and thought-out this wonderful book is. I highly recommend this book for children between the ages of 1 and 3 or 4 who are just beginning to learn to speak. Great little book!!
* This book was provided to me by the author free-of-charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion services. *
More Buzz About the Book
30 Five Star Reviews on Amazon already!!
“As a special education teacher, and mother of a child with special needs, I especially appreciate the engaging illustrations, clear concepts and helpful guide for parents to interact with their young children. I hope to see more books like this from Cara and Mary Tambellini. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Jennifer M., Amazon
“Seeing that this book was developed by a speech-language pathologist, I thought I’d give it a go and I’m glad I did. My 2 year old nephew repeatedly pulls this book form the shelf and dives right in! The guide inside is incredibly helpful, instructing readers to use gestures, to pause, and to encourage play. It’s also beautifully illustrated with bold, hand-crafted graphics. And the convenient size and weight make it ideal for reading on the go. It’s a fail-safe gift for new parents! ” ~ 5 Star Review, Alexandra G., Amazon
“How cute is this book! I purchased it for my nephew’s son. He carries it with him everywhere along with his “blankey”. He loves the pictures and is trying to sound out the words…first words. It is a great way to develop a love for books at a very early age. Love this book and will recommend it. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Carolyn Y., Amazon
“This little book is so happy, colorful, and positive for small children learning to speak or read! The eye-catching artwork is fun and special as well! My 15-month-old grandson loves looking at his copy and is able to say many of the words now. It brings a smile to all our faces, and will to yours too!” ~ 5 Star Review, Marilyn P., Amazon
“This is an excellent book!!! As a teacher of Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language, I find this book to be very useful to me as an educator, my students and their parents. At times, my students tend to leave off theses voice-less sounds when reading and engaging in conversation. The parent guide provides clear instructions!!! The illustrations are colorful, unique and engaging!!!” ~ 5 Star Review, Marisa, Amazon
About the Author and Illustrator
Cara Tambellini Danielson is a California licensed and ASHA Certified Speech- Language Pathologist. She received her M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University. Cara specializes in pediatric speech and language development. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California where she works in elementary schools, early intervention, and her private practice.
Mary Tambellini is a card designer for her Pittsburgh-based business, A Mary Card and More, where she designs greeting cards and invitations.
* Giveaway *
Prize: There will be one winner who will receive a print copy of Easy-to-Say First Words + a $10 Amazon gift card.
Contest ends: June 6, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: United States
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cara Tambellini Danielson and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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