Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: My Brave Year of Firsts by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell

My Brave Year of Firsts by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell

Though they've written about firsts, this book is not the first collaboration between Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell. In fact, it's the tenth. They've been collaborating for many years now, and you will probably recognize the illustrations if you've read more than one.

I would definitely check this one out of the library before you decide to buy it, and here's why. Some books are difficult to read aloud, and this is one of them. If your kids are like mine, they'll want you to read books you own over and over and over again, and this is not one that you'll enjoy reading aloud. The words don't flow off your tongue in easy rhythm like Dr. Seuss books. You feel more like you're trying to move your fat tongue out of the way to keep up with a rhythm that disappoints.

For example:

I struggled at first to learn to tie shoes.
My sweet Auntie Cookie showed me choices to use:
Bunny Ears, Classic, Loop-over-under-through.
I tried and tried till at last I could, too.

And that's just one page. The musical and visual dexterity it takes to maintain the rhythm, not to mention the mental energy reserves to sort through the various fonts and text colors, is more than I can deal with at bedtime.

And there's one more thing that makes this book less-than-ideal for babysitting co-op storytime. It's going to make some kids feel like have-nots. The kid in the book talks about her mom's iPhone, her pony, eating truffles, and her father's restaurant. I don't really feel up to explaining truffles to preschoolers. After all, I've never even seen them.

If you find that you and your kids enjoy this book, Harper Collins has published a pdf file containing activities to go along with the book. They include mazes and matching games about feelings. These could be good activities for your babysitting co-op shift.

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