Friday, September 27, 2013

The Power of Words

Richard Scarry

Perhaps no one knows the power of words more than a toddler just starting to name the people, places and things in his or her world. Richard Scarry's Best Little Board Book Ever taps into that instinctive wish and helps youngest children take control of their needs. 

Richard Scarry understood that by naming the things around them, children begin to gain power. They can ask for what they need. They may not always get what they want (how many times have we heard them say, "I need it" when referring to a coveted toy or sugary cereal), but they can in fact get what they need, and they can be understood. 

The author-artist takes that very basic desire to communicate and gives children a way to take control of their world. As Frannie the bunny goes through a day very much like readers' own, she describes waking up, getting dressed, playing with friends--all the way through to bedtime. Scarry gives Frannie a constant companion in a little green bug (the bug, too, has a doll to cuddle with). Later, in the story Daddy reads Frannie at bedtime, the little green bug makes a number of appearances and ties the entire book together. Scarry provides enough of the familiar to make the new vocabulary easy to digest.

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