The Big Book of Exclamations

The Big Book of Exclamations by Teri K. Peterson. Illustrations by Chris McAllister.

Chatterbox Books, Inc., 624 NW 5th St., Brainerd, MN 56401 United States

Phone: 866-987-3812 (Toll-free in the United States)

Web site:

You've certainly heard how important it is to read to your child. The Big Book of Exclamations is a different sort of book that was written by a speech-language pathologist to help train parents to read to their children in a language-facilitating way.

The engaging and dynamic illustrations tell the story of daily routines familiar to many families: waking up, breakfast time, getting ready to go out, playing at the park, bath time, and bed time. In contrast to many children's books, however, the text on the pages is not meant to be read to the child; instead, at the bottom of each page is a list of "prompts" to guide you as you talk through the picture. Scattered throughout the pictures are suggestions of exclamations to model for your child as you "read"; for example, uh-oh by a glass of milk that has fallen over.

Chris McAllister's illustrations portray young children, parents, and grandparents engaged in familiar activities, as well as pets and toys, and are designed to draw in toddlers' attention and stimulate their comments. When children point to a picture and make a comment such as "Kitty," this gives parents an opportunity to recast the child's comment, or to repeat and expand.

The front of the book features several pages of instructions and tips for using the book effectively and for keeping young children's attention and reinforcing their verbalizations. At the end of the book, readers find information about typical child development and advice for parents who are wondering about their children's communication skills.

I would use this book for my own speech-language pathology practice in stimulating expressive language for toddlers and perhaps for children as old as kindergarten whose language development is in the single word or two-word stage. I would also recommend it for parents interested in learning the practice of "talking" a book instead of reading it.

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