Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Library Day - Leo the Lightning Bug Book Review

Tuesday is Library Day in my child care.

From a local "teacher store" I purchased book bags and labeled one for each child with his or her name. Ziplock type bags would work just as well. I set up an index card for each child with their name. Each week they choose a book from the the book bin and I mark on the index card the date and which book they are checking out. I have asked the parents to be sure the books are kept in the plastic bag when they are not in use and the children are expected to bring their books back weekly.

The children, many of whom have older siblings who are in elementary school and get to check out books from the school library, love getting to borrow my books. Many choose books that they already have at home, but see it as something special to get to borrow Miss Kim's book.

Over the years I have only had 2 books lost and the parents were more than willing to replace them.

Library Day is a great way to promote literacy, responsibility, and sharing.

This week's book review by Kamel622:

Leo the Lightning Bug...This Little Light of Mine, I'm GonnaLet it Shine!
Product Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Pros: *Wonderful Message
*Great Illustrations
*Stimulates Empathic Feelings

Cons: ~~~

The Bottom Line: I very highly recommend Leo the Lightning Bug for children 4 - 7 years old, it is interesting and carries a wonderful message as well.

My best source for recommendations for children's books comes from some wonderful writers on epinions. Recently I read a review of Leo the Lightning Bug by baileym1 and just had to check this one out from the library.

The Story

Leo was the littlest lightening bug that he knew. He was even littler than Lester, Larry and Louise. Poor Leo could not light up, no matter how hard he tried. His Mom tried to make him feel better by telling him that his name meant lion and that he was big and brave but Leo didn't feel like a brave lion.

Leo decides to go off by himself and try everything he can to make his little light, light up.

He started off with a little squeeze….no light.

Then a push….No light.

Then a big oomph!….Still no light!

He tried a running start and flapped his wings as fast as he could, but no light. Then Leo heard Lester, Larry and Louise who had been hiding in the bushes and laughing at him. Embarrassed he flew off to a dark cave.

Sitting all alone he cried and then he got angry and then he remembered what his mother had told him, that he had to practice to do anything. Flying out of the cave and out into the night he was met by a storm. He mistakenly thinks that he made the loud crashes and the lightening and amazingly he was finally able to light up!

Leo felt wonderful and big and brave too. When he runs into his friends he decides that he isn't angry or embarrassed anymore but rather is able to laugh at himself.

The Illustrations

I really can't say for sure how these illustrations were created. They appear to be chalk renderings but I'm not positive about that. I do like to know how drawings are done but could find little information about it either within the book or by looking online.

The pages are full of beautiful drawings with lush colors that really attract the eye. Our little Leo is a soft purple color and his surroundings, while mostly at night, fit the scenes to a tee. The lightening strike looks as if it could jump off of the page and the dark cave, while very dark also has form to it.

The text is a medium/small font but is done in a very soft yellow that shows up well on the dark pages.

My Feelings

This story brought up great feelings of empathy not only in my daycare children but in myself as well. We've all encountered that horrible feeling of being laughed at and not quite measuring up, just as Leo did. This book really takes a child through the emotions and helps them come to a solution as well. Leo eventually laughing at himself over his futile efforts lightened the mood of the book and helped the children realize that while feelings can be hurt we can also decide how to handle that hurt feeling.

This book carries so many wonderful messages wrapped up in a story that is sure to hold a child's attention. The theme of try and try again, of practicing and of never give up runs throughout. While Leo had a few moments of being sad and then being angry the fact the he was able to deal with his feelings and then overcome his feeling of inadequacy really adds to the message of the book.

My daycare children, ages 4 and 5, loved Leo right from the first page. Of course Jake, seeing Leo looking for his light thought he was looking at his bu** and takes great delight in saying so. Well, he's a four year old boy so I suppose that is great humor to him.

The beautiful illustrations really add so much to this great story. The colors, while mostly dark, are still vibrant and interesting. Each page is filled with activity and enough detail to have us pause in our reading and really examine all that is going on, on each two page spread.

Before listening to the CD that is included I read this book several times myself. I wanted to put my expressions and voices into it before hearing how the author and his son would sound reading it.
The CD is a great addition and is a great way to allow a child to listen to this book whenever they want to. I like that it is the author reading the narration and his five year old son doing the part of Leo. His young voice fit perfectly with what I thought little Leo would sound like. It has a sound for turning the page as well, so that you can keep up with the story as it is read. One of my favorite parts about listening to this book is the background sounds that there are. Crickets chirping, Leo's friends laughing and the sound of the thunder cracking really brought this book to life.

I very highly recommend this book for children 4 - 7 years old, it is interesting and carries a wonderful message as well.

Nuts & Bolts

Leo the Lightning Bug
was written by Eric Drachman and this book appears to be the first book by Mr. Drachman but he has followed it up with Ellison the Elephant, It's Me, and A Frog Thing, which will be released in May.

This book was illustrated by James Muscarello who has also done the illustrations for a few other Eric Drachman books.

This 32 page hardcover book also includes an audio CD with the author reading the story and sound effects in the background.

Kidwick Books published Leo the Lightning Bug in 2001 and recommends it for children 4 - 7 years old.

This book has a jacket price of $18.95 and while at first blush that seems high, having it include the CD as well makes it a real bargain.

ISBN: 0970380909



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