Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds
By Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango
Charlesbridge Publishing, $9.95
36 pages, ISBN 1570916594
Review by Amy Andrews
Like an ice cream cone on a hot summer's day, Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango's Yum! Yuck! is a cool little book with a multicultural flavor.
In the charming Yum! Yuck!: A Foldout Book of People Sounds, young readers can join an international group of children enjoying an adventurous summer's day. When the fold-out pages are closed, pictures of four children-- each making a similar expression-- are accompanied by the phonetic equivalent of that emotion in a foreign language-- for example, kids smiling and licking their lips, saying, "Geshmak" and Leckah" and "Nam-nam" (Yiddish, German, and Danish, respectively). Open the page and find a city scene of those kids eating ice cream and watermelon and the English translation: "Yum!"
As the book continues, the children express laughter, surprise, disdain, sadness, and joy as each page hidden by the fold tells another part of the story: a dog escapes from his leash and chases after the oranges that a street vendor is juggling to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, the pup knocks over a cart of spices, making everyone sneeze and spoiling the children's treats. The children cry until they're surprised by the offers of treats from other vendors-- fresh fruit, ice cream, cookies, and pastries. The kids then all get a ride in the empty spice cart, cheering in many languages.
The authors' note at the end of the book explains that the foreign language words have been spelled phonetically to make them easily pronounceable by native English speakers. Acknowledging that regional differences may mean that these are not the only words that reflect the same sentiments in other languages (i.e., according to the book, while a Columbian child may say "yupi," other Spanish-speaking children may say, "hurra," or "bravo" instead), Park (Mung-Mung: A Foldout Book of Animal Sounds) and Durango (Peter Claver: Patron Saint of Slaves) have clearly worked hard to create an engaging and accessible introduction to languages and communication for the youngest readers.
Sue Ramá's bright, candy-colored crayon, watercolor, and ink drawings clearly demonstrate the emotion each group of children is conveying. Young readers will have fun recognizing the unmistakable sentiments expressed by the children in other languages, and then opening the page to see what happens next in the story. Older kids will be able to use the emotion conveyed by the illustrations as a clue, guessing at the plot development hiding under the folded page. The artwork is specific and detailed enough that even pre-readers will be able to follow the cause and effect that makes the children so happy, sad, and cheerful again.
Yum! Yuck! is a good introduction to the concept of many words having similar meanings for young children first learning about language. It's also great fun for them to emulate their picture book counterparts, laughing and sneezing, sniffing boo-hoo and shouting hurray, evviva, ballay-ballay, and hwan-ho! The onomatopoeic text is sure to elicit giggles and smiles kids and adults alike as they read Yum! Yuck! together.
Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Make--or Break--Your Child's Future
By Rosalind Wiseman, with Elizabeth Rapoport
352 pages, ISBN 1400083001
Review by Kathy Stump
Yes, that’s quite a title. But, this is quite a book. Readers may recognize the term "Queen Bee" from Wiseman’s previous book on relationship aggression among adolescent girls. Now, the author is turning our attention to ourselves—the parents—members of what Wiseman calls "Perfect Parent World."
Wiseman shows how "Perfect Parents" can actually do more harm than good. Most have the best of intentions, but in reality these adults are often projecting their improper behavior and poor communication techniques onto their children. Working with thousands of children and parents across the country, Wiseman has gathered some remarkable material. Her painfully accurate, yet sometimes tongue-in-cheek descriptions of Perfect Parent World, and Girl and Boy World, will, no doubt, resonate with most readers. Wiseman then provides concrete, effective ways to break down these stereotypes and work towards getting parents to help one another raise their children. Ring a bell? It takes a village?
This book is for real parents: those who readily admit we’re imperfect, but also for those who are perfect, or who "Wannabe" (another Wiseman characterization). Wiseman’s parent-types are all-too recognizable. You WILL find yourself in here, your spouse, and, perhaps most importantly, your children’s friends’ parents. Her witty, concise, and often poignant characterizations may make you squirm and look twice in the mirror, but don’t let that stop you. Keep reading, ‘cause Wiseman’s insights into your children’s lives are uncanny.
Wiseman groups the personality types into little boxes that clarify the stereotypes. For example, the "Act Like A Woman" box includes the following qualities: always wears the right style, but is not too sexy, always loves her children and pets, happily married with lots of friends and is involved in the community. Also, she’s always cheerful, and why not? Her life is perfect. Qualities lying outside of this box include: single, fat, unkempt children, uptight, tries too hard. Sound familiar?
Wiseman’s stories lead you through the often bumpy, circuitous route from preschool through the college application stage. The characters grab you, probably because you know these people, or were influenced by one or another type during your own youth. You’ll see how to effectively maneuver among "Mom Cliques" and Dad "Totem Poles", while weathering the Back-to-School Nights, PTA Committees, the Sports Arena, and perhaps the scariest phase of all: "Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll.
Other chapters address the popularity issue. Here, Wiseman describes the main mom personality types: Queen Bees, Sidekick Moms and the Starbucks and Sympathy Moms. These are so dead-on, it’s worth checking out the book and reading just this chapter. Don’t worry dads, there’s a whole chapter for you, too! The Kingpin Dad parallels the Queen Bee Mom. He’s a solid provider, handsome, aloof. His son, the Dominator, is a good-looking risk taker who has a lot of influence over his friends. Other dad-types include: Sidekick Dad, Banker, and Caveman Dads.
Wiseman doesn’t end the journey with these characterizations. Several chapters on communication guide the reader through typical scenarios with the personality types described. She outlines a very practical, effective communication tool dubbed SEAL. (You gotta’ read the book to decode the acronym.) In addition to practicing it yourself, you can teach adolescents to use it in their own friendship struggles and adult interactions as well.
Wiseman’s book is a highly engaging read that boldly takes on some taboo subjects. It leaves readers little excuse to continue ignoring our behaviors, and/or those of our children. Wiseman’s "in the trenches" research and ability to zero in on personality types provides parents an extremely useful tool for truly helping our children avoid some of the pitfalls of growing up. And, isn’t that just what a "Perfect Parent" wants to do?
That’s the author’s primary advice for parents. And, you must let your children and their friends see you doing this. This is not always easy, but Wiseman’s book makes it easier. Sample scripts for dealing with the adults in your children’s lives illustrate when and how it’s appropriate to speak to the teacher, coach, or fellow parent. She’s anticipated those times when the conversation doesn’t go how you planned, and tells you how to handle that situation as well.
Pocket Full of Crypto-nite
The IP Bookshelf
The IP Bookshelf
The IP Bookshelf
The IP Bookshelf
All original content © 2002 - 2013 Imperfect Parent®. Imperfect Parent and Mominatrix are registered trademarks.
The views, opinions and information expressed in articles and blog posts published on imperfectparent.com and all subdomains are those of the authors alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Imperfect Parent or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of any entity of, or affiliated with, Imperfect Parent. The Imperfect Parent is designed for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for medical, health, legal, or financial advice from a professional.
Reproduction of material from any of Imperfect Parent's pages without written permission is strictly prohibited.