We Listen to Our Bodies

Free Spirit. Mar. 2021. 36p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781631985003.
PreS-Gr 1–This introduction for children about listening to their bodies, while rather workmanlike, could find an appreciative audience in parents and preschool teachers. Deja’s rushed morning has her feeling out of sorts. While playing tag outside at preschool she pushes another child. This leads to her compassionate teacher introducing the class to the concept of listening to their bodies and understanding what they are telling them. The text succeeds fairly well: concise, keeping to child-accessible language and concepts, giving the children a voice, while allowing the teacher to gently guide. One jarring use of the comment “Oh, yeah” from the teacher, whose positive intent there belies the slightly aggressive phraseology, detracts from the otherwise effective story. The art depicts a multicultural classroom. Deja has dark skin and curly hair, one child wears a hijab, one boy likes glittery high heels, and the male teacher has brown skin and uses a wheelchair. The slightly cartoony, brightly colored illustrations will appeal to the audience well enough, despite lacking distinction. The book ends with a four-page guide for parents and teachers on consent and teaching children body awareness. There is also a song.
VERDICT This storybook introduction to learning about physical and emotional awareness will fill a need in preschool classrooms and libraries serving preschool families.

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