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Review: “S is for Smiling Sunrise” by Vick Wadhwa

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Smiling Sunrise Review

I’m happy to review a wonderful children’s book today called S is for Smiling Sunrise by Vick Wadhwa of WordsBright.

I was afraid this would be “just another average kids book.”  But it isn’t, and I really like it!

It’s beautiful and colorful and immediately grabbed my 4-year-old son’s attention.  He looked through it and listened to the CD singing the words of it twice when he first saw it.  Then he said, “I wish there was a DVD of it.”  I think he’d love to see the illustrations with song up on the big screen!

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The book is described as “a new take on ABCs.”  It’s “an alphabet book of goodness, beauty, and wonder.”

The well-made hard-back book has 32 pages.  It begins with a gift page to write who it’s “for” and “from,” so this would be a great gift for someone.  I love how 10% of the earnings from the book are given to help disadvantaged children.  It’s recommended for ages 3 and up, but my 2-year-old daughter enjoyed it and learned from it as well.

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Each letter of the alphabet has its own page.  There is a photograph or illustration with a 4-line poem.  The focus of each poem is to inspire and encourage children in creativity or in the wonder of our world.  They are encouraged to be kind by saying “thank you” or by giving gifts to others. They are encouraged express themselves through art.  They are taught about nature–butterflies, the ocean, and leaves.  You can use the book to teach preschoolers their colors, the seasons, names of animals, and health lessons like drinking plenty of water and eating healthy food.

As a believer, I would love to find a Scripture to include with each page in the book as well.  For example, on the G is for Gift page, we could learn “It is better to give than to receive.”  On the F is for Flowers page which talks about looking and pausing, being happy and peaceful, we could learn the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.”

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There are some free resources on the Wordsbright website.  You can get a free mp3 download of the song, which sings every word from the book.  It’s 5:25 long.  I do have a suggestion for the song.  It’s sung with a woman’s voice in the lower octave.  I would recommend it being recorded with a woman singing higher, or even with children’s voices!  That makes it easier for the kids to sing along. The other free resource is a Teacher’s Guide.  It’s in 2 parts: for Preschoolers and for Grades K-3.  There are lots of ideas there for using the book for teaching lots of different concepts.  This is a common way that I teach my preschoolers, so it’s nice to see it written out for moms or teachers who might need some suggestions there.  For example, on the W is for Words page, there are lots of words listed such as sharing, effort, and gratitude.  The Teacher Guide gives some questions to ask the kids like, “Why should we choose our words carefully?” She gives an activity to play a word game with the words.  You can even download the Words poster from the website and display it.

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So, overall, S is for Smiling Sunrise is a very nice addition to our home.  I know my children will enjoy reading it and hearing it read to them over and over.

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