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Tricky, Tongue-Twisting Traipses through Thorough Thoughts,
on 29 August 2004
This is simply (actually, not so simply) the best beginning book ever for reading aloud!
Children learn to read by first hearing adults read aloud to them. The funnier and more memorable the story, the faster the child learns. In this outstanding book, Dr. Seuss has created delightfully convoluted tongue-twisters to engage enormous laughter, combined with lots of learning. You'll have a ball reading this book out loud, and hearing your child read it with you. Such experiences are great bases for building emotional support and comfort for your child, and establishing a lifelong closeness with your child.
What is absolutely brilliant about the book is that it creates forgiveness for any errors that occur. Mr. Knox, the person who cannot easily say the tongue-twisters, is the hero of the story. This, too, encourages learning. We are expected to mis-say these sentences. Reprieved by Dr. Seuss from the sentence of perfection, we go ahead with more confidence into our laughter.
Here's you first warning about reading aloud: "The first time you read it, don't go fast! This Fox is a tricky fox. He'll try to get your tongue in trouble." Notice, that since only your tongue can get into trouble, you as a person are safe. What a wonderful, loving way to encourage your child!
Your tongue also gets sympathy at the end wondering how numb your tongue is from reading aloud.
Everybody can handle the first page but it soon goes to maximum difficulty.
Mr. Fox is good at coming up with challenges. Mr. Knox is quickly overwhelmed, and Mr. Fox comes up with a harder one each time despite agreeing to come up with an easier one.
But Mr. Knox comes out on top in the end.
After memorization is quite far along, you can have races and time how long it takes to read the book. Children love to be timed doing things and take great pleasure in their progress. I suggest that you not race yourself, for that might discourage a child who goes more slowly than you do.
You can also use these sentences to point out how word order affects meaning. There are many advanced grammar lessons in this material, that will help you child write better.
In typical Dr. Seuss fashion, though, the drawings are the best part. You will see more complex, amalgamated images than you can possibly imagine, and each one visually reinforces the importance of word sequencing.
Having been challenged by this convoluted cove of cavernous cacophony, it will eventually occur to your child that reading such siblilant spoutings of stirruped stentorian sounds . . . is most easily done silently. So the learning to read process will naturally progress from the book's content. Yet, the silent reading will be predictably punctuated with great gales of laughter, built from the experience of reading the book aloud with you. You'll smile when you hear the familiar laughs.
As you can see, this is not so simply a brilliant book. It will provide your family with endless fun and learning.
After you have finished mastering this book aloud, I suggest that you and your child write your own version. You'll have even more fun with that one.