Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: The Magical Power of Wordless Books For All Ages

We are excited to offer our summer book review with partnership with Anne from Kinder Books.

From Anne from Kinder Books~ 
Before I dive into the book itself, I want to share with you how I came to select this title for my
first Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine review.

Recently, in one of my kids yoga classes, we played charades. The task was to express a word through yoga poses and to include a breathing exercise. A group of four kids ages 8-10, started walking in all directions staring at a pretend phone or holding one by their ears. One
stopped in chair pose still doing the same phone gesture, not looking up. Another child laid down still looking at the screen.

The riddle’s answer was PEOPLE. When the word came out I could hear an “Ah, yes!”. I was touched to see how these young kids perceive society these days as absent, lonely and not breathing.

Immediately, I was reminded of a story that I hold very close to my heart. “Sidewalk Flowers”
by Jon Arno Lawson/Sydney Smith. When I saw this book for the first time, I was attracted by
the dandelions on the cover and the girl with the red coat. Books can trigger memories and
this one certainly did it for me. I owned a red coat as a little girl.

After passing pages filled with lovely flowers and birds you become part of a black and white
world. Except for the little girl in the red coat holding her dad’s hand. No words, just pictures.
Dad is on the phone.

In a hurry.

As the reader turns the pages and fills the story with their own words, more colours emerge,
creating a hopeful, connected and kind feeling just like the little girl does with her gestures.
You feel warm and included with every page you turn.

With wordless books children become creative storytellers. Pre-and early readers build
important literacy skills such as listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and structure of
stories. By using words of their very own, struggling readers gain confidence and motivation
as they read this story time and time again, including new observations and feelings with each
read. This book is also beneficial for children who are being raised in multi language

This quiet book is a celebration of children, the importance of small things and small gestures;
it’s a story for everyone.

Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson/Sydney Smith, Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2015 Retail Price: $16.95, Hardcover

Get your copy at

Anne Uebbing is an Early Childhood Educator and a Kids’ Yoga Teacher living in Port Moody with her husband, two kids ages 9 and 11, a big black dog and one green eyed cat named Marvolo.
In 2011, Anne founded Kinder Books, a traveling children’s book store specializing in stories that reflect people's lives, fostering connection and empowerment. Anne supports authors and artists who create beautiful, challenging and encouraging messages with their work. Aside from her online store, you can find her at various
community events where she likes to share her passion for unique children’s books with everyone.
Kinder Books variety of yoga products, hand puppets, First Nations titles, water bottles and specialized titles, nurtures children’s minds as it sparks the imagination and interest in the world we live in. Find out more about Kinder Books here

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