Book review ~ Kids Make it Better, Suzy Becker

Suzy Becker was kind enough to send me some of her books for review. Although she lives in Massachusetts, she has strong Rhode Island connections. Two of her previous books have made The New York Times' bestseller list.

Kids Make It Better: A Write-in, Draw-in Journal is Becker's most recent. It's a charming interactive book, where the author asks a large question, for example, "There's a hole in the ozone, the layer of gas that protects the earth. What can we do to repair it?" We receive an answer from a child age six through ten, and you know it's going to be cute, funny and wise.

What sets this book apart are two things: For each question, there is a place for the reader to write in his or her own solutions, and even draw a picture; and Becker offers snippets of real-life children who did something to help solve the problem: "Evan Arnold, age 9: When Evan found out that some kids do not have what they need to play his favorite sport - baseball - he began collecting bats, mitts, balls, shoes, and money. Now he sends baseball gear to towns all over the world." The end of the book invites the reader to identify problems and solutions, including a framework to create an action plan. There is even a certificate of achievement.

It's a great book for youngsters, that encourages problem solving, research, observation, and looking beyond themselves and their own lives. It also gives them the process to discovering a solution. It encourages contemplation and action. I'd get this book for my nine-year-old nephew.

*Kids Make it Better received the 2010 Bright Eyes Award for written and illustrated media that stimulates the mind and engages the intellect. Congratulations!


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