Review: Let’s Hear It for Almigal by Wendy Kupfer


Let’s Hear It for Almigal by Wendy Kupfer, illustrated by Tammie Lyon

Almigal wears hearing aids in her favorite cotton-candy pink.  She has friends who all different in a variety of ways.  Some wear glasses, others are twins, some speak Spanish, and one of her friends also wears hearing aids, but hers are purple.  Almigal is happy most of the time, until she finds out that she can’t hear everything, things like her friends talking, bird chirps, or songs in ballet class.  Worst of all, when she is ready for bed, she can’t hear her parents say goodnight.  So her doctor recommends that Almigal get a cochlear implant.  She has to have an operation and is able to pick out a bright pink implant just like her hearing aids.  She has to work to learn to hear with the implant and be careful with them, but it works really well.  The best part of all, is that she can hear her parents say goodnight.

Kupfer is the mother of a child born with hearing loss.  She discovered the lack of books with children who have hearing loss and hearing aids and created this picture book.  As a new author, she has managed to create a very readable and focused story.  While it is the story of a girl getting her cochlear implant, it is also about the diversity around us and that everyone has something different about them.  Lyon’s illustrations have a charm to them that adds to the appeal of the book.  They are filled with bright colors and done in a very inviting way. 

An issue-oriented book that will have appeal to children with hearing loss and those without.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Raab Associates, Inc.

Review: Homer by Elisha Cooper


Homer by Elisha Cooper

Homer is out on the porch when the day starts.  Everyone seems to have something that they want to do that day.  The other dogs want to run around and play chase.  Homer doesn’t want to.  He doesn’t want to play in the field either, or walk to the beach, or swim, or go to the market.  He stays on the porch.  One-by-one the others return from their day and everyone tells Homer about it.  The dogs are tired from running. He gets to smell the flowers from the field and even wear one. There are shells to smell, wetness from the beach, and produce from the market.  People finish their days out on the porch with Homer.  At the end of the day, Homer heads inside, eats his dinner, and happily falls asleep in a chair.

Cooper does several things in this very simple picture book.  First, he pays homage to the relationships of dogs and humans, the sort of dog that is quiet, steady and always there.  Homer is the sort of dog everyone wants on their porch too.  Second, Cooper speaks to the importance of simplicity and a life well lived.  This is done quietly as one watches Homer’s day, realizing the bliss that it brings him. 

The setting of the seaside and the summer activities, make this a great book to share when you have sand between your toes.  Even better if a dog is thumping his tail nearby.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.