How Sunny Sees It: A Journey to Reading Bravely

by Lesley D. Nurse
PageTurner Press and Media

"'Sunny, Sunny, why do you look so sad?'"

This children’s book tells the story of Sunny, a young girl who struggles with reading out loud in her class. Sunny has trouble pronouncing difficult words, and she would much rather watch T.V., paint her nails, or sing and dance than practice her reading with her mother at night. Her classmates make fun of her as she mispronounces words or reads extra slowly, which makes her want to read less and less. But Sunny learns three important words from her teacher: “Yes I Can!” And her teacher encourages her to continue working, while her classmates learn to be good friends and cheer her on.

The message from this story is a universal one: everyone has value, and everyone learns at his or her own pace. Like Sunny, all readers can identify with feeling behind or not belonging. And like Sunny, all readers can learn to continue trying and working hard. Young readers will benefit from watching someone else struggle just as they likely struggle with learning to read. The longer words in the book are hyphenated at their syllables (for example, “fa-mi-ly”) to aid children in reading along with Sunny and to also help them to understand how Sunny sounds out those words. Furthermore, the illustrations are incredibly vibrant and eye-catching. The bright colors really pop on the pastel watercolored backgrounds, and this makes the book not only interesting but also visually pleasing. From the pictures alone, readers can understand Sunny’s feelings, as we see her go from uncomfortable to mad to happy at the end.

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