Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Watch Out!

Fearnley, Jan. 2004. WATCH OUT! Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 0763623180 [Suggested Grade Levels Pre-K – 3]

With sensitivity and sweetness, Jan Fearnly tells the charming tale of Wilf, an energetic little field mouse whose innocent but disastrous antics keep landing him in need of his gentle and quietly exasperated mother’s comfort and care. He gets so excited about running, climbing and bouncing that he forgets to listen to his mother’s words of caution and, “CRASH, BANG, WALLOP!” he’s fallen down and made a mess again, usually bigger than the one before. After a long, busy day, Wilf realizes he’s made his mother sad and plans a surprise to cheer her up. The surprise that they both get creates a sweet moment between mother and son that is heartfelt and true to life. Fearnley’s endearing watercolor illustrations are full of life, innocence and whimsy and her tale of a mother’s love for her frustratingly rambunctious son is a reminder to children that they should listen to their parents and to parents that they should be patient with their children. As is so often the case in children’s literature, this simple tale of everyday events has more to say about the special relationship between parent and child than most people could fit in a much longer book. Watch out! This one's too sweet for words!

Children can plan a surprise for their own mothers. The children can plan the surprise by drawing what they will do on paper.

The “telephone” whispering game can be utilized. This simple fun game is when there is a large group of children, and you whisper a phrase in one child’s ear, and then that child whispers in the neighboring child’s ear until it travels around the room and the last child will speak the phrase out loud – usually wrong, and sometimes hilarious. This teaches children the importance of listening carefully.

Other books by Jan Fearnley that could be compared to this one:
JUST LIKE YOU. ISBN 0763622079

By Melissa Neece

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