Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review - Slime & All

My friend Janet Ann Collins is celebrating the release of her fourth children's book "Slime & All" this week. She was kind enough to send me a preview copy by PDF so I could review it. It is now available on Amazon. The story begins with a sad worm by the name of Lump. He is tired of other animals running away from him, so he decides to run away instead. Lump is rather large, and slimy, but manages to stow away on a big truck. Fortunately for him he meets an educated little boy who knows that worms don't hurt us. Jake takes him to a park where he can get wet all over, and eat some dirt (yum) but better than that, Jake introduces him to a lot of other kids who decide Lump is "cool."

I was excited to review this book because it fits right in with my current theme of encouraging peer-advocacy among children. Everyone has their "slime" if you will - something that makes it challenging to befriend them. It would be easier in some respects to be like the farm animals and just run away every time you meet someone who is different from you, except that you'd spend a good bit of your time running away. How much better to be educated a little, like Jake, and to take the time to understand someone, to meet their needs, and help others understand that they're pretty okay. This is advocacy at its best, and its most personal. We can all learn a lot from Jake.

The book is written as a short and easy chapter book, perfect for beginning or struggling readers. The text is simple and straightforward. It is not at all preachy in that "there's a moral here, kid" kind of way. Jake and Lump do their own work of teaching the reader to be kind. Each chapter is paired with a fun full color illustration by Alexander Morris. You've never seen a cuter worm, even if he is enormous. I'm guessing the farmer misses Lump a lot - imagine the soil he could turn out!

So next time you see a worm, consider making a new friend...slime and all.


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