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The Phrase Maker
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Baby Book Reviews - Stage 6 - The Phrase Maker
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Characteristics of Stage 6 Books – The Phrase Maker
At this stage you'll notice your toddler's attention span increasing. You'll be reading many more books at any time during the day. By the time your baby reaches two, you will have read hundreds of books with incalculable numbers of words. This adds up to untold numbers of brain connections that create good language and problem-solving skills.

The books your toddler enjoys at this stage are many and varied. He may still want to hear rhymes or board books he heard at birth while showing an interest in adult books with pictures and illustrations you can talk about. Young adult or adult books and magazines with illustrations and photographs that may capture your toddler's imagination are travel books, nonfiction about animals, geography, and transportation, or magazines such as National Geographic.
Barnyard Dance NEW
Barnyard Dance
Author: Sandra Boynton
Board Book
Workman Publishing, 20 pages, 1993
If the illustrations in this book look familiar, it is because you may have received a greeting card by Sandra Boynton. This particular Boynton book came to our attention during one of our visits to the bookstore. We saw an eighteen-month baby girl dancing along as her mother chanted the book. This parent and others have told us that the Boynton books are some of their toddlers' favorites.

Most babies and toddlers love music from before they were born. Once they start walking (and even before), it isn't long before they begin moving their bodies to the rhythm of the beat. Barnyard Dance invites you and your toddler to read and move together to the rhythm of the beat.

Parentese tips and talking points about the illustrations:
Do what the animals do in the book: you and your child will bow, twirl, bounce, strut.
Use parentese when you read the animal noises (Use your funniest, exaggerated voice).
You and your toddler will have fun chanting as you move in concert with the bouncy rhythms.
You may find yourselves calling out this chant as you walk down the aisles of a store or anywhere you’re walking together like the child and parent we saw in bookstore.
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Mrs. Wishy-Washy
Author: Joy Cowley, illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller
Board Book
Philomel Books,Penguin Putnam Books, 15 pages, 1999
We first met Mrs. Wishy-Washy in our classroom about seven years ago. We love the book so much, we have a replica of Mrs. Wishy-Washy painted on the outside of our classroom door. Our students have all read Mrs. Wishy-Washy and ask to read it again and again. We recommend it for nineteen to twenty-four months, but try it on your younger baby and observe her reactions. The illustrations are simple and bright enough for a younger baby, and the language is captivating.

Both Caroline's grandchildren immediately memorized "Away went the cow. Away went the pig. Away went the duck." Mrs. Wishy-Washy wants to wash the mud off her dirty animals:

"Wishy-washy, wishy-washy." But they don't want to stay clean and go right back into the "Lovely mud." This is one book you may find that you pretty much stick to the text as is. Joy Cowley is a master of crafting just the right sounds and words to be dramatized by the reader.
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Diggers and Dump Trucks
Author: Angela Royston
Board Book
Little Simon, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 16 pages, 1991
If your toddler loves trucks, he or she will ask you to read Diggers and Dump Trucks again and again through the ages of three or four. More than naming the parts (shovel, bucket, mudguard, leg) each earth-moving machine has a description of its function. A photo gives a clear side view, and a drawing shows what the excavator or truck does. After several readings, your toddler will name each machine and many of the parts. Good questions and conversation arise about each picture. You point to the tiny man next to the giant dump truck and talk about the driver's size compared to the wheel and about how the driver has to climb a ladder to get into the cab. For a toddler, this is serious business.
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Cassie's Colorful Day
Author: Faith Ringgold
Board book
Crown Publishers, Inc., 12 pages, 1999
Cassie's outing with her dad is by the author/illustrator of Tar Beach, a Caldecott Honor book, a Coretta Scott King Award Winner, and an HBO animated feature presentation. The vivid, patterned illustrations are all about color. If your toddler doesn't yet know her colors, she will after several readings of following Cassie getting ready for her day with dad at the ice-cream parlor. Talking about the colors in Cassie's clothes is a good opportunity to start noting the colors in those of your toddler. This creates an awareness of the colors around us.
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