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Book Set Review: “The Little Box of Laughs” by Russell Ginns

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“The Little Box of Laughs” Book Set

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Books are the gateway to literacy. If children are taught to enjoy books from a young age then there is a better chance that they will show an interest in reading throughout their lives. Familiarity with books can also automatically increase a child’s ability to recognize words as well as instill a better sense of spelling and proper sentence formation. Of course, the key to getting a reader’s attention is to have an entertaining story and this is especially essential when it comes to books for small children. “The Little Box of Laughs” is a set of four books that expertly achieves the delicate balance between entertainment and education.

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“The Little Box of Laughs” is a set of books published by The Learning Company. All the books are written by Russell Ginns, a game expert who is renowned for his work on “Sesame Street,” “Hooked on Phonics” and—most recently—several successful app games produced by Big Yellow Taxi Inc. The four books contained in the box set are intended for toddlers and each one conveys a different learning lesson in a fun and unique way.

“1, 2, 3, Go!” uses animal characters and career imagery (including construction workers, firefighters, pilots, and garbage collectors) to teach children how to count to three. This book is written in rhyming text which makes it fun to read aloud and it is also a good way to familiarize children with the basic concept of poetry.
“Moo Cat” is a book that uses visuals to illustrate the differences in colors. Yet the book also has additional educational merits. For example, it is a good way to associate visual colors with the textual words that represent them. The book is also a good way to teach children concepts like “costume” and “disguise” because, on each page, an animal like a cat or a dog is dressed up like a cow. The book ends on a cute note when an actual cow is depicted and it is easy to imagine children giggling while this story is read aloud to them.

“Bird On My Head” is a story about friendship that is written in rhyming text. Of all the books in the set, this one will relate to children who are slightly older than toddlers because of its especially clever wording and socially moral storyline about the importance and wonderfulness of friendship. From an adult perspective, this story is even cuter since the main character is a rhino that carries around a bird on his head—a phenomena that is actually seen in real-life among rhinos and birds in the wild.

“Is There a Chance You’ve Seen My Pants?” is the final book in the set. A hilarious and rhyming story, this book teaches kids basic lessons about clothing types as they help a moose character find his pants (and shirt, and shoes and gloves and so on). Out of the four stories, this one is arguably the most whimsical and humorous and both adults and kids are likely to laugh at its content.

Overall, I give “The Little Box of Laughs” book set 5/5 stars and urge anyone with small children to give it a try. These books provide entertaining and educational opportunities and they can be read and enjoyed over and over again. Additionally, the simple text and basic word structures make these stories perfect candidates for the first book that a child can read on their own. Best of all, these delightful books will have companion apps! On September 15, 2014 there will be a total of 10 stand-alone apps that are related to the “Box of Laughs” stories (check back for more information about the apps around September 15th).

“The Little Box of Laughs” sells for $22.99 and is available on the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publisher website:
http://www.hmhco.com/shop/k12/The-Learning-Company/9780544340138

If you liked this book set, I strongly recommend looking up the other three sets in the series:
The Little Box of Classics
The Little Box of Bedtime
The Little Box of Love

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