Book: Something Beautiful
Genre: Children’s literature
Author: Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Illustrator: Chris K. Soentpiet
Dragonfly Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in 1998.
Book Review: SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, this children’s story emphasize that ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, our perspective over daily matters structures our attitude in life. This story is written from the viewpoint of a girl in her middle childhood (6-8 years of age) who wants to find out the sense of something beautiful in the life of people who live in her neighbourhood.
It is a large size story book of fifteen glossy pages, containing 14 large illustrations, the free space in each illustration is utilized for the short narrative of the story – to link the illustrations with the story. The realistic or photographic illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet are in canvas texture.
SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, is an approximate 500 words story; most of the words in the narrative are easy to pronounce, has a healthy mixture of shorter words (comprising of 2, 3, 4, 5, letters) and longer words (comprising of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 letters), a number of longer words are a combination of two smaller words e.g. some + thing = something, court + yard = courtyard etc. The story has maximum number of sentences with number of words ranging between 5 to 15, and has only one sentence with number of words extending up to 19.
This children’s literature by Sharon Dennis Wyeth is broadly a conversation piece, an apt story for development of vocabulary and social skills in children of 4 to 8 years; a good reading material for children of 6 to 8 years, is also suitable to narrate as bedtime story for children of 4-5 years.
Academic Use of the book, SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL by Sharon Dennis Wyeth:
For preschool kids, the teacher can narrate this story to a small group of (10-15) children with the aid of the story book for presentation of illustrations. For older children – a few number of this book can be circulated to be read at ease by all the children in the class (- appropriate for children of 7-8 years); each child can be asked to read a few lines from the story aloud in the class to complete the entire narrative, the teacher can help out the children in the pronunciation of difficult words (- appropriate for children of 6 years).
Follow-Up Activities –
- A big box of colourful child friendly items can be presented before the child, the child can be asked to pick one or two items from the box which he/she finds the most attractive or beautiful; after the child picks up the item of his/her choice, the child can be asked the reason for the choice of his/her pick. (Appropriate for children of 4 to 6 years)
- To form words (mentioned in the story), with the help of alphabet cards, comprising of 2, 3, 4, 5 letters (maximum number of letters in the word up to 5) – choices of many words can be displayed on a larger visual medium for the child’s convenience to pick and choose words of his/her preference from the visual medium, later the teacher can ask each child to pronounce the words which he/she has formed. (Appropriate for children of 4-5 years)
- To write minimum 2 sentences with the prime word beautiful comprising in it, with minimum number of words in a sentence up to 5. (Appropriate for children of 6 years)
- To copy and write any 3 sentences from the story-book that the child finds to be interesting in the story; then classify the words in each sentence into – Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Pronouns. (Appropriate for children of 7-8 years)
The above activities is good for enhancement of –
Learning of mathematical concepts;
Also leads for development of attention span in children,
Development of self-confidence,
Understanding of self-awareness.
Amazon link: Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth