Narnols, Blumblums, & Friends
by Dr. Vicky Ciocon-Heler, Ed.D.
LitFire Publishing

"You’ll forget to gibber, babble, gurgle. You’ll forget to whine and growl and shout!
You’ll forget to yell …! You’ll forget ‘cuz YOU DO CARE."

Written by a specialist in the development of small children, this relatively lengthy book combines poetry, illustrations, and puzzles to reflect moments and perceptions that are common to preschoolers and children in early elementary school. The text and illustrations alternate with one another, as do the moods and tempo of the poems and stories. Some of the text appears to combine messages of understanding with a warning. For example, "Busy Bunnies” is a verse about bunnies eating and drinking snacks while they sit for a long time. The "sat" refrain gives the impression that the verses are comments on the joys of indulgence without responsibility, combined perhaps with a warning about potential childhood obesity and inertia. Other verses describe and celebrate the attempts of children to "fit in" to the adult world, and the magnificent messes, both physical and emotional, that occur from time to time in children's lives. The concluding verse is positive:

I’m Margaux I’m three
My family loves me!
They make me happy!
The names come from their hearts. Their hearts are full of love for me. Love you all!
Love you back!
Love you more!

The length of the book and the complexity of some of the verses and exercises suggest that the book might be more appropriate for older children rather than preschoolers. However, the manuscript is creative. The verses are meant to be shared between adults and children and to celebrate the myriad experiences of being a child, even as children and adults may be confused by or despair of particular situations. The text practically screams at times that childhood is wonderful and to be enjoyed by all. The bright and entertaining illustrations are truly lovely. Their diverse levels of sophistication may be enjoyed by all ages.

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