Mommy Moments with Abby's Review of Howard Wigglebottom Learns about Sportsmanship,Winning isn't Everything:
I run a daycare full of a variety of ages and it is the perfect place to test out a product. For today we used this as our story-time book. Everyone sat down the little 1 year old with a book of his own to at least practice sitting in story and I opened up the pages. At first the oldest(5) liked Howard, "he likes to win and winning is cool", but when Howard talked back to the coach Howard became less cool and the oldest(5) advised me that "he knew it" when Howard was sent for a time out. The second oldest(3) didn't like Howard in the beginning, she stated, "He is going to hurt himself" when he threw a fit and shook her head. My daughter(2) sat contently and was more fascinated by Howard being a "rabbit" but was able to recognize his fit and she shook her little finger and said, "Time Out, rabbit". The one year old went between sitting calmly and looking at his own book, but at the end he wanted up on my lap to get a closer look and private read of the book.
I'm not going to give away much more than I have of this story because it is a good one for the kids and you'll have to get it for yourself, but I will tell you what the kids thoughts were after the book was read. Typically when we get a new book or a "teacher" book that has more of a crafted lesson to it, I will ask each kid their thoughts on what happened and the main character. Their responses usually let you know if they liked it or not because they seem to get more animated when they enjoyed a book. The oldest(5) was the most animated. Advising me that Howard was lucky that he wasn't at daycare or else he would have been in trouble a lot sooner, guess I'm pretty easy for kids to read with my boundaries. He said that "Howard was cool during the end but I wouldn't want to be on his team because of the beginning." When asked about what happened in the story his favorite part was Howard finally getting in trouble and the trophy looked pretty cool. The (3) year old said, "Howard is nice now he is sharing good." When asked about what happened in the story her favorite part was that it was about soccer which she is currently playing on a team. My daughter(2) exclaimed "yeah" at the end. She very much wanted to read it again once it was done and asked, "Mommy read book, Mommy read rabbit book."
The illustrations fit very well with a more classical feel to them, flowing lines reminded me of an updated Beatrice Potter illustration. The more pastel type coloring was a great fit as well. I firmly believe that illustrations should compliment the book and not become their own story. This was a great marriage between showing the point well and allowing the words to form additional aspects to the story.
All in all I give this a first place trophy! There are several free resources to support the book @ http://www.wedolisten.org: including the Winning Isn’t Everything song, a printable poster, lessons & discussion questions. An animated version of the book will be on the site soon. You can visit the site and order yours now or enter to win this giveaway running from 5/03/2012 to 5/18/2012! a Rafflecopter giveaway