Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy Hocky Family

I remember the first book my oldest daughter sat and listened to without trying to grab at the pages. It was The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country! by Lane Smith. Here is a review. Why this book after numerous animal and belly button toddler books? Partly it was my need to move on from hat, ball, and dog object identification books, but she was also developing an understanding of pictures as representations. Babies behave as if realistic color photographs are real objects. They rub, hit, and try to grasp and investigate the depicted objects. Somewhere around 19 months, they cease their attempts to manually explore pictures and instead, they point to the pictures. This suggests they have developed a concept of pictures.

Taking it a step further, many of the pictures in the Hocky Family Moves to the Country are familiar to a toddler. There is a Family, mom, dad, brother, sister, baby and dog. There is a Farm, a farmer, cows, squirrels, birds a rabbit and skunk. There are seasons, fall leaves and snow, and food. Although there are vocabulary and references in the story a toddler would not understand, these make it a humorous read for adults.

Lane Smith's Hocky Family is less celebrated then books, like The Stinky Cheese Man or his other collaborations with Jon Scieszka. (I saw a recent interview with Jon Scieszka over at Jen Robinson's Book Page and here's a good one at 7-imps. ) But it suits my taste. Smith's other Hocky Family book, which was actually the first Hocky book, is titled, The Happy Hocky Family. *************Try them. You and your toddler will love them.

1 comment:

  1. I adore the Happy Hocky Family, but was a tad disappointed by their move to the country--it's not quite as funny to an adult. But I'll grant you its child appeal.


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