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Big Thoughts for Little People: ABCs to Help You Grow Review by Heather Randall

By Kenneth N. Taylor
Tyndale Kids
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

Big Thoughts for Little People: ABCs to Help You Grow is a picture book that teaches Christian concepts along with ABCs and counting. This educational picture book has colorful illustrations that coordinate with the text wonderfully.

Each page layout has text on the left and a beautiful illustrated page on the right. Each text page contains an upper and lowercase letter. The illustrations provide more than just visual interest. They actually enhance the purpose of the book. In the illustrations children can hunt for items that start with the letter covered. (On the A page you will find an airplane, apples, animals, an ark, etc.) Also, each picture page allows for a counting lesson by hiding ladybugs within the picture for children to find and count. The text pages read like brief devotionals, covering topics alphabetically. For example, A is for asking. A paragraph describes how we can ask of God and communicate with him through prayer. Three questions follow that encourage the child to notice details in the picture on the opposite page. The questions provide an opportunity for the child to observe the concept visually through the illustrations and apply it personally through prayer, reflection, and discussion. The page concludes with a Scripture that cements the biblical idea into a child's mind.

My 2 and 4-year-old daughters loved this book. I was very pleased with the quality and the connections made between the illustrations and text. I appreciated the thoughtful creativity the artist and writer applied to make this an excellent teaching tool. My daughters learned letters and numbers in a subtle and fun way. They learned the shape of letters and traced letters on the page with their fingers. They learned phonetic sounds of letters by hunting through the illustrations and finding items that begin with each letter. They developed a concept of numbers by counting ladybugs. They listened to Biblical concepts and reviewed their understanding through great discussion questions. They even hid God's Word in their hearts.

If I changed anything about the book, it would be to increase the amount of devotional content. The sections of text are very brief. I understand that a young child's attention span is limited, but with the addition of the pictures, I think the child is engaged enough to hear a slightly more expanded devotion.

Big Thoughts for Little People: ABCs to Help You Grow is available for $14.99. It's a pretty fair price in my opinion. The many uses of this book make it worth it. I believe parents will be satisfied with the book, and I happily recommend it to parents of toddlers and preschool children.

Product review by Heather Randall, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010