There is a children’s picture book author whose books stand out on the book shelves, literally, because they are bright and colourful. Lucy Cousins books are familiar to children, especially the Maisy Books.
Personally I have never been the biggest fan of Maisy, however when this book jumped out at me…the bright colours and size largely responsible, I saw Maisy and the story she had to tell from a completely new perspective. So, today’s post is me sharing with you why this book has changed my view.
Count With Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep by Lucy Cousins
Published by Walker Books
Date: 24 February 2015
There can be a lot of guess work when choosing a book for a story time session, especially with mixed age groups. There are factors to consider such as is the book age appropriate (but what is that really?), is the book too long, is it interactive, engaging, and what sort of prior knowledge you have of the group. I believe Lucy Cousins has the formula mastered for story time with her books. Why do I think this? There are several factors.
Familiarity: I hear so often in my job as a Librarian how much children love Maisy, and do you have any Maisy books, and where can we find the Maisy books. Familiarity for children assists with learning to read and language development because the children know what to expect next so will begin being able to follow the words once they know the book well. They will often join in with the reading, especially with phrases such as cheep, cheep, cheep. When a character is familiar, children will talk about their other favourite Maisy books which is all assisting with language development.
Lift the flaps: Lift the flap books create excitement, gets the children thinking about how many chicks are behind the door, rocks, fences…and if you like loud, interactive sessions then this is the book to use and others like it. Why loud…because everyone wants to join in to lift the flaps. I always pick out several children to help or just let them all come at me when a flap needs turning, I am known to have 70+ children at my story sessions (depending on the library branch) so my ways vary depending on the group.
Counting: There are so many opportunities for learning to count in this book. As you lift the flaps you are counting how many chicks there are. As each page goes along, chicks are making the journey with Maisy and her clucking friend as they are looking for the other chicks. These are to be counted as you read along and also encourage number recognition as each number is above the chicks. So much literacy value in one book.
So, not only is the book bright and engaging, it is a learning experience which has been presented in a fun way. There is no pressure to learn because it is naturally occurring just through reading this book, either in a story time session or one-on-one with your child. Learning can be and is fun for preschoolers, without the pressure of trying to formally.
The next time I see a Maisy book, I am going to look at it from a completely different perspective.