In her recent Scéalta post Dr. Mary Roche reminded us how important books and stories are for young children. She says ‘Being read aloud to and given the opportunity to chat about the book immerses us in words, visual images and in rhythms and cadences of speech that might not be available elsewhere’. To promote and encourage storytelling and story reading with children, we in Early Childhood Ireland are delighted to launch our Scealta book review, where we will ask you, our members, to read a book with the children and send us a review of it, including what the children thought of it…in their own words! To get this series off to a good start Anne Comerford from Spraoi Playschool in Tipperary road tested the book called I say OOH, You say AAH.
Spraoi Playschool is a privately owned sessional service located just outside Tipperary Town. We just love books and story time and were delighted to review a book for Scéalta!
This story, called I say OOH, You say AAH, by John Kane, is about a donkey named OOH who runs away, plays hide and seek, has ants crawling on his nose and wears UNDERPANTS on his head! From the off this is a story of interaction and the children are asked to say AAH! as loudly as they can every time they hear the word OOH, to pat their heads when they see a red page, to say UNDERPANTS when they see an ant and shout out their name when they see a cloud.
After the first introduction to the children, it is apparent immediately there is a richness of learning and potential for participation that will just grow and grow with every reading. Initially we read the book with small groups and this worked best. It allows the children to become familiar with the story and follow OOH on his adventure to find his UNDERPANTS!
We talked about donkeys, bugs, clouds, weather and where would you wear your underpants?! My playschool children just love UNDERPANTS and recalled other stories that feature them also. In groups of 3-5 they actively listened, studied the colour of the pages, absorbed visual prompts and linked the actions and sounds to them. Children at other tasks were drawn to the shrieks of laughter, the howling at ants, underpants, and the increasingly louder OOH’s and AAH’S. Repetition is key and the enjoyment just grew and grew with every telling of the story. The more familiar the children became the louder the responses.
The children decided they wanted to make underpants. They designed, painted and collaged large underpants that hang proudly on a washing line in playschool. Now if one says OOH in the middle of any task, music, dance, play, the children will automatically respond AAH with gusto! It is like a mantra, a secret code. When asked why they liked this book so much? they replied “underpants, he wears underpants on his head!” and “it is soo funny! What else?”
What books do the children in your settings love? We’d love to hear from you! And remember babies love books too! If you’d like to be considered to review a book please drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I say OOH You Say AAH is on special offer in the Early Childhood Ireland shop at the moment. A great stocking filler perhaps!