Monday, May 02, 2011

Curious George Makes Pancakes

One of Smiley's favorite recent presents is the book Curious George Makes Pancakes.

Not all Curious George books are created equal.  But this one is very nice for pre-readers.

First, the pictures are sufficient to follow the plot. After somewhat memorizing the story, he can look at the pictures to "read" the book.  Most but not all Curious George books have this quality.

Second, the story contains the usual Curious George dilemma of a "good" character breaking rules and getting in trouble, but overall being more helpful than disastrous. In this story the particulars are easy for a young child to understand.  George should have asked to help. It is easy for the parent to ignore OSHA guidelines about monkeys in fairground kitchens and conjecture that if George had asked politely he could have been allowed to be a rule-following helper. But by trying to help without asking he gets in trouble.

One of Smiley's old favorites is Curious George and the Puppies, which also has those two qualities.  The story is easy to follow.  George could have gotten what he wanted (to pet a puppy) without trouble by asking politely.

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