July Baby Buzz Pick

Parent educators with the Washington School District have chosen a fun book with a boat theme for their July Baby Buzz Pick, “Toot and Pop!” by Sebastien Braun.

Each month the group selects a noteworthy book for children birth to age 5. A review of the Baby Buzz Pick runs in the second weekend issue of The Missourian. Parent educators then purchase copies of the books to use in their visits with parents and children.

An ongoing list of Baby Buzz Picks can be found at emissourian.com and is continually updated.

The following review was written by Nancy Nagel, area literacy advocate.

“Pop is a tiny tugboat that works hard to keep the harbor safe by guiding boats where they need to go. Along comes Toot, a gigantic freighter who insists he doesn’t need any help. After Toot runs aground against the harbor wall, Pop graciously comes to the rescue.

“This book has a simple story line that children can relate to, one that will teach them to ask for help when they need it. The book also is a fun story about the comings and goings of big ships on the water.

“Bold splashes of color, outlined in strong black, make the pictures appealing to young children. The vivid shades of blue background allow for strong contrast.

“Books serve as mirrors of our own experiences and as windows into new worlds. Children growing up in the Midwest have no experience of the workings of a harbor, but they may have seen boats on a river or lake. But reading books about experiences and cultures different than our own opens up the imagination to the world beyond our front door. Children can learn new terms and concepts and their curiosity may be sparked by reading books about environments new to them.

“Encourage your toddler and preschooler to make the silly sounds you find in the book along with you. “Pop, pop, pop,” with exaggerated “P” sounds and “Toot” may be hard to sound out at first, but practice can be fun and educational. Older children might enjoy pointing out the letters in “TOOT” that appear throughout the pages.

“This book offers great ideas for literacy extension activities. Children love water play and this story would certainly be a great one to read along with some splashing fun. If you visit a lake or pond, set toy sailboats afloat. Or fill a wading pool with water on a hot day, make model boats from a craft or hobby store and re-enact the story. Let your child play at the kitchen sink with unbreakable dishes as you do kitchen chores nearby.

“Bath time also is a great time for pretend water play. Allow time for scrubbing clean as well as sailing off to sea. You could re-tell the story of Toot and Pop! Or make up stories of your own using unbreakable boats and other bath toys.”

Other favorites this month are “Oliver” by Judith Russell, “Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket” by Tatyana Feeney, “The New Sweater” by Oliver Jeffers, and “My Snake Blake” by Randy Sieger.