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Opposites Are Fun!

By Barbara Milne
Tender Learning Concepts

5362 Rockledge Drive
Buena Park, CA 90621

A high-quality hardcover book and CD, Opposites Are Fun introduces children to the world of opposites. In its 40 pages, the book covers 58 opposites. The CD has two songs that cover most of the opposites contained in the book. The opposites range from simple pairs like "up" and "down" to more challenging concepts like "plain" and "fancy." The book is colorfully illustrated with bright pictures that will hold a child's attention and help him understand each opposite presented.

The sing-along CD is also a great tool. Its sweet and simple songs cover the opposites in the same order as they appear in the book. The songs are catchy and make remembering the opposites much easier. I have heard a few "learning" CDs in my time, and some of them are terribly annoying! This one isn't; it is very easy on the ears and almost relaxing.

This set is designed for 3 to 8-year-olds, which I believe to be an accurate recommendation. My 5-year-old just loved it. After reading the book and listening to the CD three or four times, he knew all but a few of the 58 opposites. And learning them didn't hurt a bit! My 8-year-old also enjoyed the book and CD, even though she already knew most of opposites.

Mrs. Milne has created a company called Tender Learning Concepts. This book and CD capture the essence of tender learning. Instead of using flash cards or performing drills, children can learn by snuggling up on the couch and reading a book or listening to a fun CD. This is my preferred method of instruction--no unnecessary busy work, no fill-in-the-blank paperwork, just gentle instruction. I would say it is almost like learning without even knowing it.

My only criticism is the opening sentence, which states: "Opposites are tricky, but opposites are fun." Perhaps it is a little silly of me, but I do wish it didn't start out by saying, "Opposites are tricky." My son was not aware that opposites could be tough to learn or understand, and I didn't want his first exposure to suggest that it was going to be difficult. That being said, the book continues with: "One day we will know them. We'll learn them one by one." I can see this being a helpful and encouraging statement to those who struggle with learning opposites.

I highly recommend Opposites Are Fun to families with children who are ready to learn opposites. It would be a great addition to any homeschool or classroom and would make an excellent gift for a teacher or child.

Product review by Stacy Kalisz, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, February 2010

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