S if for Smiling Sunrise {Book Review}

5/12/2015
Smiling Sunrise Review
I'm happy to share my review of S is for Smiling Sunrise, An Alphabet Book of Goodness, Beauty and Wonder, with you today.

Published by WordsBright, this sing-along rhyme book is an alphabet book that focuses on teaching the letters of the alphabet through meaningful concepts.




True to its name, this book is colorful and bright with happy illustrations and a positive message.

The book includes a free download of the Smiling Sunrise Alphabet Song, so we listened to it with our first reading of the book. The sing-along rhyming text in the book is meant to be sung to the ABC song, but it seemed a little awkward and forced while listening. I didn't enjoy the song, and didn't think the voice and music fit the peaceful, calming message of the book, but as soon as we finished Bo, my 4 year old said, "I like that song!"

The K-3 Teacher's Guide has lots of wonderful ideas for post-reading discussion. We talked about goodness, beauty, and wonder. Bo feels good when he plays with Elli. He said jewels are beautiful because of their colors, and that Elli is beautiful in her dress with the rose on it. That turned to what it means to be beautiful on the inside, and we talked about being kind, gentle, and loving. When I asked Bo what makes him feel wonderful, he said playing with Elli. So feeling good and feeling wonderful were the same to him.



Then, still using the Teacher's Guide, we went through each letter in the book. For example, for A is for Artwork, we talked about how art can be beautiful and what art is. Then I asked him what type of art is in the picture in the book. He said a painting of snowflakes and stars. Then I asked him if doing artwork makes him feel good, and he said yes, and wanted to go do art, which is suggested for an activity: "Do some type of artwork. Visit a museum to view some works of art."



Each letter continues with concepts (B is for Butterflies), questions to discuss, like "Have you seen butterflies flying around? [yes!] How do they fly? [with their wings] Do you think they are beautiful? [yes] Have you ever touched a butterfly?" [not that he remembers], vocabulary (butterfly, flying, flutter, etc.), and activities (try to spot a butterfly, visit a butterfly garden).

The K-3 Teacher's Guide is a great resource that complimented this book well when I used it with my 4 year old. While it says it is for up to 3rd grade, I felt that my 2nd grader was too old for this book. The Pre-K Guide, which has ideas for toddlers and preschoolers, seems well suited to toddlers and preschoolers, as suggested.

When I asked Bo what he thought of the book, he said, "It's really great." He likes the pictures, especially of the kids, but he didn't want to read the whole book again after the first time. So, we read one letter at a time, and I still had a hard time getting him interested in the book after only a few letters. We are on break from formal learning, and Bo just wants to play, so that may be why.

Please visit my Crew mates to read their reviews on S is for Smiling Sunrise!

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