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Editorial Review

Children's Literature (Marilyn Courtot)

The books that constitute the ‘Sound Box’ library are attractively packaged with colorful illustrations on crisp white pages. The series has been designed and written to teach phonics and words that have the appropriate sounds. The format is the same for each letter of the alphabet and includes blends as well as short and long vowels. The opening and closing pages are filled with the featured letter; the title page shows a young child with a box full of objects that start with the featured letter sound. There is a note explaining what the book concentrates on. For example, in the ‘o’ book it notes, ‘This book uses only the short ’o’ sound in the story line. Words beginning with the long ‘o’ sound are included at the end of the book.’ Some of the stories are better than others but the premise is the same. The child collects objects that go into the sound box and often something amusing or silly happens when everything is put together. In this story the little boy assembles otters and an octopus, but the otters are not happy with this arrangement. Eventually the otters, octopus, ostrich and ox arrive at the boys home. The final pages recap all of the words for the featured letter in the story, introduce new words and when appropriate, if there is another sound associated with the letter, pages introduce those words. In the case of ‘o,’ words with a long sound such as overalls, okra, oatmeal, opal and ocean demonstrate that this letter can have a different sound.

—Marilyn Courtot

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