"When Lion's Roar"

Books are great for entertaining little ones, and can work magic on quelling childhood fears. This month’s Baby Buzz Pick, chosen by parent educators with the Washington School District, could do just that. Bee sure and check out “When Lions Roar,” by Robie H. Harris, the January Baby Buzz Pick.

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

“A young boy learns he is in charge of his fears in this beautifully illustrated new picture book. Each spread features an exclamation in large bold type that describes louder and louder sounds. ‘When lightning cracks! When thunder booms! The scary is here!’

“But the wise youngster knows he is in charge of his surroundings. ‘So I sit right down, shut my eyes tight. Go away, I say. Scary! Go away. And then – the quiet is back.’ All kinds of fun things are going on as he ventures out into the now-quiet world around him. ‘A puppy snoozes –a kid swings high. The scary is gone. And I go on my way.’

“The book’s illustrator, Chris Raschka, is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of ‘A Ball for Daisy,’ and ‘The Hello, Goodbye Window.’ He uses crayon and watercolor to create bright vivid illustrations that children can relate to. Raschka fills the pages with round shapes and squiggles to capture the feelings expressed by the young boy in the story.

“Young children experience very strong emotions as they are developing socially. What may seem routine for an adult may be very frightening or frustrating for a toddler. Children learn to express their emotions in a healthy way by watching the caring adults around them. If you are open, and tell the other adults or children in your home how you feel, your little ones will soon learn how to describe their feelings as well.

“Reassure all the children in your care that you are there to protect them and keep them safe. You may want to use this book as a starting point for a conversation about fears with your older child. It is very important to listen to your children and find out just how they feel when you think they are misbehaving. Some children are very sensitive to loud noises and will do almost anything to get away from the noise. Observe your baby’s behavior from early on and make a note of what level of sound soothes her or what seems to irritate her.”

Other parent educator favorites this month are, “Monday, Wednesday and Every Other Weekend,” by Karen Stanton, “Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket,” by Tatyana Feeney, “All Fall Down,” by Mary Brigid Barrett, “Buzz, Buzz Baby!” A Karen Katz Lift-the–Flap Book, and “Early Bird,” by Toni Yuly.