In this post I will review this awesome book and explain how I’m using it to gently encourage Junior to use more complicated grammar.
The premise of the book is that a child chooses their dream life. On one page you have to choose where you would live, on another page what you would wear or do for a job. Each page is crammed full of drawings for you to choose from. One time you’ll choose to live in a tree house and wear a space suit while being a painter. The next time you’ll be living in a palace dressed in a tutu working as a footballer.
In my experience kids of all ages find it mesmerising. It is empowering and exciting to be offered so many ‘choices’ – and older kids have the cutest conversations over it. One of the great things about this book is that it is a ‘spiral’ kind of book. Kids interact with it in different ways at different stages of their development. Junior has always loved it, but up to now has tended to listen to the question and point to the picture. Which is already good skill-building.
Now I am looking to build her grammar, and particularly her tenses. I realised that the predictable structure and the high re-read appeal made this book a good tool to practice with. At each page I now model a full sentence to her ‘I will wear a princess dress’ – and ask her to repeat it. In normal speech, she doesn’t use tenses and her linking words can be erratic. But of course as we trundle round and round doing the choices again and again (they can’t resist) – the sentence is always nearly identical (apart from the keyword) – and gradually it starts to stick. ‘I will wear a superman cape’; ‘I will wear a suit’; ‘I will wear ….. ‘ .