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A Walk in the Rain with a Brain
by Edward M. Hallowell, illustrated by Bill Mayer
ages 4-8 32 pages ReganBooks October 2004 Hardcover    

This book may be of interest to parents who are interested in teaching a little “neurology” to their young children in a fun manner. It teaches an important message which all children, as well as adults, should be aware of: “No brain is the same, no brain is the best,/ Each brain finds its own special way.”

On a rainy day, Lucy encounters a brain in the street. After introducing himself as Fred, the brain tells Lucy that he is lost and must find his head. Lucy decides to help him and, during their search, asks him to make her smart. Fred then explains her how in the old days all brains were happy and used to have fun until Complain came by—a bossy, know-it-all brain who wanted to feel superior to the others. Luckily another brain, Tru, eventually came along to defeat Complain and spread the message that all brains are good at something, that the important thing is to find out at what and develop it, and to “have fun with your brain every day./ Brains do best when they play.”

This is a book that, at least the first time, should be read by an adult and discussed with the child. Passages like, “When the young brains objected,/ This one brain infected/ The rest with a word they should have rejected,” are difficult to grasp by a young child and need clarification by an adult.

At the end of the book the author includes “A Discussion Guide for Parents and Teachers,” in which he gives some background as to how the story came about, as well as advice and tips on how to make the most out of the book and make the experience interesting and rewarding for the child.

Most of the rhymes are fun to the ear, and the illustrations, though not necessarily pretty, are brightly-colored and eye-catching. This is the sort of book which stimulates children’s minds, perfect for classroom discussions or a one-time borrow from the local library, but not the kind children will want to cuddle up with to read and re-read in bed at night.

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  Mayra Calvani/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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