Children's Book Reviews

Monday, January 07, 2008

How Do We Teach Children?

I was a teacher of young children for over four decades, so this may seem like a superfluous question for me to ask. However, when it comes to the question of how do we teach young children about eating in a healthy way counteracting the now rampant childhood obesity, we are in a new territory of learning behavior and need new ways to show children how to live a more healthy lifestyle. What better way than with a humorous, adventure story! Children always learn better by example and story than by lecture and lessons. So do adults, and hat is why the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has done so well. Kudos to Manny Alfaro for creating this first in a book that I hope will turn into a series. It has been a delight working with Manny in our correspondence about the book. If you want to see more about Griego and Manny, visit his web site

Griego the Great

Do you know what a green goopally glob is? When you read this adventure of Griego the Great and the Green Goopally Goop, you too will know and begin to love the rascally glob named Globby. Griego is a young boy who
loves adventures, particularly playing knights and dragons with his dog Nacho. Imagine his surprise when a glob falls out of the sky right on his head on his way to market one day. At the market Globby proceeds to get Griego into trouble by eating too much. How does Griego solve his dilemma?

This tale by Manny Alfaro is witty and poignant at the same time. Young readers will have fun with all the alliteration, and may even make a tongue twisting game from some of the many words that start with ā€œGā€. Do try saying the title rapidly. Yet, the story goes deeper and addresses a current, distressing issue in our society, that of children not eating healthily the result of rampant childhood obesity. Artist, David Harrington, in his appealing graphics style, marries the paintings well with the text, including more humor and expressiveness. Will Griego have adventures in future books? We will hope so. As well as a fun, learning book for a child to own, this book would go well in a classroom unit on health and foods, especially for second and third grades. Highly recommended.


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