Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Review: What Makes a Rainbow?: A Magic Ribbon Book

Original review on by Kathy Salazar

What Makes a Rainbow?: A Magic Ribbon Book
by Betty Ann Schwartz

Product Rating: Product Rating: 4.0
Pros: Wonderful Rainbow, Beautiful Illustrations, Colorful.
Cons: Not a good 'hands on' type of book, Text hard for these old eyes.
The Bottom Line: A wonderful book of friendship and caring. Very nicely put together.

Loving children's books as I do, I was very grateful when one of our daycare parents stopped by with a new book for the daycare. What Makes a Rainbow? is a wonderful, Magic Ribbon Book and was a great choice by her and is loved by all of the children.

The Story
As the rain stopped, and Little Rabbit and his Mama come out from under a big red flower, Mama mentions that they would now see a rainbow. Little Rabbit wonders about rainbows, and what makes them. Mother suggests that Little Rabbit ask her friends.

Little Rabbit asks the Ladybug, who tells her that red is what makes a rainbow. On the next pages Little Rabbit asks the Fox, the Chick, the Grasshopper, the Bluebird and the Butterfly. Each replies with a different color until on the last page, a beautiful rainbow appears, and Mama tells Little Rabbit that the things needed for a rainbow is "Rain, Colors - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and...Sunshine!"

The Illustrations
The illustrations in this book make it an interesting one to explore. Since each of Little Rabbits friends has a favorite color that they believe make the rainbow, their page is done mostly in that color. Little chicks page is done in yellows with yellow flowers and the ground a soft yellowish brown. The Butterfly's page is mostly purples with the butterfly itself having purple wings.

The characters faces are very expressive and that makes them look interesting and friendly. Little bunny has a cute smiley face as do the Ladybug and the Grasshopper. The other creatures faces are not smiling but have a friendly appeal.

An interesting part of the illustrations, and each page, is a ribbon that extends from the first page to the second. It is a shiny ribbon, that features the color of that page. It builds upon itself, until near the end there are six colorful ribbons spreading across the pages.

The last page is a very colorful pop out rainbow with the sun shining down on everyone. On this page the colors are truer to what they are, that is, the grass is green, the sky blue etc.

My Feelings
What Makes a Rainbow?
is an excellent Preschooler or Toddler book. One of the things that I like with this book is that it works very well for the different ages that we have in our daycare.

As I was making lunch yesterday my daughter (chalathra) was reading this book to all 9 of the children in our daycare.

From the kitchen I'm listening to the quiet hush of the room as the kids listened to every word. When she was done reading they all yelled "again, read it again".

Unfortunately this time they were not listening quite as intently, and not wanting to just close the book and move on to another activity, my daughter creatively gave each child a 'part' in the story. As she narrated her oldest daughter read Little Rabbits part...each of the children got to be one of the other creatures and shout out the color that particular creature. My Grand daughter loved being the Ladybug...and one of the other girls loved spreading her wings as the butterfly, we had happy faced foxes and flying bluebirds.

Reading it in this way, made them an active part of the book, and held their attention much more than if she had just reread the book to them several times.

While I think that the book itself is very interesting, I also believe that how we read a book can be very important to making children learn to adore books as well. This book can very simply become a different type of story each time.

While it may have been a rather simple story to just read to the five year olds, the younger children had a great time recognizing and naming colors and the different creatures, and the infants adored all of the bright colors on the pages as they were turned. It can be different things, for different ages, and I think that makes it a valuable book for parents, daycares and schools to have.

Nuts & Bolts
This wonderful 12 page Magic Ribbon board book was published by Intervisual Books Incorporated in 2000.

The author, Betty Ann Schwartz also wrote What Makes Music..another Magic Ribbon Book, Escape from High Doom and Cave In. Although she is not an author that I am familiar with, I will look for other books by this talented writer.

The illustrator Dona Turner did an excellent job of making the story come alive in this book, and I will also look to read The Itsy Bitsy Spider which was also illustrated by her.

My recommendation on age level for this book is infants through about five year olds. It is short and simple to read, although some of the text is written with too much background color over it. That may not be a problem for some, but my 'older eyes' (did I just say that?) had a difficult time with a few of the pages.

Also while I think this is a great book for children, it is one that could be easily ruined. With the ribbons on each page, and the pop up on the last page, it is a book that we've decided will not go on the shelf where the children can choose books, but rather will be one that will come out only when we are reading it to them. I would prefer for a book to be hands on for the children, so I see this as somewhat of a drawback.

What Makes a Rainbow? has a list price of $8.95 U.S. and $13.50 in Canada.

ISBN: 1-58117-0769


Original review on by Kathy Salazar


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