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A checklist to evaluate children's book

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Book evaluation 1
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A checklist to evaluate children's book

  1. 1. Cover page  The name of the book: It’s OK to BE Me! (Just like you, I can Do Almost Anything!)  The author: Jennifer Moore-Mallinos  The illustrator: Marta Fabrega  Publisher & date of publication: Published by Barron’s Educational Series in 2007  Where you accessed it: Yorkville library  Synopsis of the story: This story is about a boy named Adrian who grows up using a wheel chair. It shares a positive experience of a boy who grows up learning how to use the wheel chair very well and learns how to overcome adversity of learning how to play basketball in his wheel chair through perseverance, trying his best and lots of practice. The other main characters included in the story are Adrian’s friends from class and his mom and dad. The story shows positive experiences regarding Adrian having to use a wheel chair from everyone’s points of view including Adrian himself, his friends from school and his parents.
  2. 2. A Checklist to Evaluate Children’s Books that Address Disability as Part of Diversity Circle T for each statement that is true and F for each statement that is False. 1. Check the Illustrations: Stereotypes: There are no stereotypes promoted in this book. T or F True Potential stereotypes of children with physical disabilities includes helplessness and alienation from other same age children based on the child’s physical disability being viewed as different and/or not normal. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “Consequently, books that represent children with disabilities should do so in ways that do not promote stereotypes.” “It is appropriate to have a child with a physical disability in a wheelchair or using another type of adaptive device as long as the reader also views the child as being a distinctive individual with his/her own personality and characteristics.” (www.circleofinclusion.org). An example that this picture book does not promote stereotypes is the illustration on the front cover, the main character Adrian is shown in a positive manner while in his wheelchair, with smiles and his arm flexing showing that he can do anything he wants. In addition, the front cover illustration includes 2 young children smiling and waving at Adrian showing that children with disabilities are no different than any other children without and he/she has good friends. (It’s Ok to Be Me!, 2007) Who’s Doing What: The children/characters with disabilities have leadership and/or action roles. T or F True Leadership or action role is when a child with disabilities does not allow their situation to be a boundary or barrier to their interests; instead they actively pursue their interests. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “The children with disabilities should not only be active observers while the children without disabilities are always the ‘doers.’”
  3. 3. (www.circleofinclusion.org) For example, in the story, Adrian is really interested in participating with his friends in sports. Instead of sitting on the side observing the other children play, Adrian actively begins learning how to be more mobile and maneuverable in his wheel chair. It was scary at first but he does not let his fear stop him and through perseverance and practice, he begins to move very well in his wheelchair. He then begins to learn how to dribble a basketball with the help of his parents and pretty soon, he not only gets to play basketball with his friends, he makes it onto the school basketball team. (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 28, 2007) 2. Check the Story Line: Standards for success: The characters with disabilities are accepted for their own individual behaviours. T or F True For the standards for success, the child with disabilities is accepted naturally by their peers in the story line. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “The child should not have to walk or run with his friends to be accepted by them.” (www.circleofinclusion.org). In this story, Adrian has lots of friends because, “All the kids at school say Hi, and everybody loves my sparkly wheels.” (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page10, 2007) Additionally illustrations show Adrian actively going places and hanging out with his friends, even in the rain. (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page9, 2007). In both storyline and illustrations, this picture book shows Adrian is accepted for who he is. Resolution of Problems: The characters with disabilities help resolve the problem. T or F True The main character in this story is shown solving the problem of mobility by himself. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “Look at how the problems in the story are presented, conceived and resolved.” (www.circleofinclusion.org) For example, one of Adrian’s biggest challenge with using a wheelchair is learning how to be more mobile by himself, “I practiced using my wheelchair, all by myself, everyday….and moving my wheelchair became easier” (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 16, 2007) Another example of Adrian overcoming his mobility challenge was learning how to move up and down ramps, “…it became very important
  4. 4. to learn how to use a ramp safely. This was the hardest and scariest thing I had to learn…” (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 20, 2007) But through practice Adrian shows that he can easily overcome this, “All I had to do was take my time.”(It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 22, 2007) Role of the character with a disability: The same story could be told if the character did not have a disability. T or F True This story focuses on successfully overcoming challenges and could be told with Adrian not having any disabilities and being in a wheel chair. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “This story should be able to be told in the same way even if the main character did not have a disability.” (www.circleofinclusion.org) The author reinforces this point with a note to parents by stating “Although this story focuses specifically on a boy in a wheelchair, the overall message of the story can be useful for every child. All boys and girls face some kind of difficulty or challenge during their developing years.” And “In the text we learned that perseverance, determination, and hard work are contributing factors to one’s success regardless of the challenge.” (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 34, 2007) 3. Consider the Effects on a Child’s Self-Image: There are one or more characters with whom a child (reader) with a disability can readily identify as a positive and constructive role model. T or F True Any child with a disability who reads this picture book can easily and readily identify with the main character, Adrian as a positive and constructive role model. According to Nice Ways to Evaluate Children’s Book, “In each story, there should be at least one or more persons with whom a child with a disability can readily identify as a positive and constructive role model.” (www.circleofinclusion.org) For example, despite being in a wheelchair, Adrian does not see this as a negative thing. Illustrations and story line shows his positive nature in seeing his wheel chair as a good mobility option (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 5, 2007). And when Adrian faces a challenge, instead of shying away, he tries hard to overcome these challenges through practice and this type of perseverance is a good role model that any child can relate to. As
  5. 5. Adrian says, “…there were times when I felt like giving up. But I knew I couldn’t, I just had to keep trying!” (It’s Ok to Be Me!, Page 20, 2007). 4. Consider the Author and/or Illustrator’s Background: The author and/or illustrator’s background strengthens the value of his/her work. T or F True The author background’s absolutely helps strengthens her ability as a writer and the value of her writing. “Look for qualities that the author or illustrator may have that would help them understand and contribute knowledgeably to a specific theme or topic.” (www.circleofinclusion.org) For example the author “…graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree…” and “…worked as a Child Welfare Social Worker…” (jennifermooremallinos.webs.com). Having an educational and professional background in the field of social work helps the author understand positive family values and good support systems required by young children. Understanding this helps her write good stories that have a positive impact not only on young readers but all readers who shares her stories. 5. This book is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers? T or F True This book is developmentally appropriate for the preschoolers such as story length, illustrations, and lay out. According to Ages and Stages, “Three years olds listens attentively to short stories and books.”, “Three years olds able to tell simple stories from pictures or books.” (ECEP- 103 Reading Page, Ages and Stages: A Brief Overview – Ages & Stages: Three Year Olds) For example, this book has 23 pages with nice illustrations and without stereotypes about child who has physical disabilities. Since preschoolers are able to follow along we can discuss about the story line as we read through the book and after finishing reading. Additionally the book is laid out such that one page have words and the opposite page have illustration; this helps them follow the story and also helps draw their attention into the story more.
  6. 6. Recommendation paragraph First of all, I strongly recommend the book named It’s Ok to Be Me! (Just like you, I can do Almost anything!). For the preschooler, illustrations are just as important as it visually supports the story line. Since some preschoolers may not be able to read along, they can enjoy listening to story and watch the many bright illustrations in the book. This is important in this book because the illustrations are presented with no stereotypes, in this case, focusing on a child in a wheelchair who maybe helpless or alienated by classmates. The main character has plenty of action roles where he learns how to use effectively his wheelchair. As an ECE, I can talk and scaffold with preschooler with no stereotypes and having action role illustrations. The article Nine way to Evaluate Children’s Books introduce what book is good to introduce for children. “Consequently, books that represent children with disabilities should do so in ways that do not promote stereotypes.”, “The children with disabilities should not only be active observers while the children without disabilities are always the ‘doers.’” (www.circleofinclusion.org) Secondly, in the story line, the main character is accepted by his friends at school just like any other boy in school. The story line and illustrations shows this with Adrian’s friends who are always smiling and waving at him. Additionally because the main character has many action roles where he overcomes challenges through strong will and hard work, children can related to him as a positive role. As an ECE, I can discuss with preschooler what the character is doing and why he’s doing it, and use Adrian as an example to encourage them in a positive manner. The article Nine way to Evaluate Children’s Books introduce what book is good to introduce for children. “Look at how the problems in the story are presented, conceived and resolved.”, “In each story, there should be at least one or more persons with whom a child with a disability can readily identify as a positive and constructive role model.” (www.circleofinclusion.org) Finally, this book is developmentally appropriate clearly for the preschoolers. The sentences in the story are not too long and are simple to follow. Thanks to the colourful and well-illustrated pictures that support the story line, it’s easy for preschoolers to visualize and understand the positive message the story is sharing. The level of language and sentence structure is also perfect for the preschoolers.
  7. 7. Self-reflection Learning For this assignment, I have learned that I need to carefully choose children’s book and how to pick proper book for. Through learning the rules in “Nine Ways to Evaluate Children’s books that Address Disability as Park of Diversity” I’m more confident in determining which books are appropriate and support strong developmental values for young children. I’ve also learned to focus on the child’s self-image when introducing story books and ensure the characters in the book have a positive impact that preschoolers can relate to. Additionally as an international student, I’ve never borrow a book from public library in Canada. I have learned and now know that the library is a strong source for good children literature that will help me in my future classes. Strengths One of my biggest strengths will always be hard work and to try to understand the whole picture of an assignment. Because English is my second language, I know I must work twice as hard if I want to succeed. Because of this, I started this assignment early by reviewing many books in the public library to make sure it was a good book for the assignment. I also read the book and the assignment a few times to make sure I understood the questions before trying to answer them. Needs Even though I started this assignment early, it was difficult to pick a good book because before this assignment, I never thought too much on character requirements. Completing this assignment has helped me understand that it’s easy to identify a good book if it fits most of the rules in “Nine Ways to Evaluate Children’s books that Address Disability as Park of Diversity” even if the characters in the story do not have a disability. Challenge Even though hard work is one of my strengths, English is still my 2nd language. It was a challenge to connect the rules in “Nine Ways to Evaluate Children’s books that Address Disability as Park of Diversity” to the story books that I reviewed. But I feel my English is improving as I complete more assignments.
  8. 8. Bibliography  Mallinos, Jennifer. It's ok to be me!: just like you, I can do almost anything !. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series, Inc., 2007. Print.  ECEP- 103 Reading Page, Ages and Stages: A Brief Overview – Ages & Stages: Three Year Olds  Nice wats to evaluate children’s books that address disability as part of diversity: www.circleofinclusion.org  The author Jennifer Moore-Mallinos: jennifermooremallinos.webs.com

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