Cheer: A Book to Celebrate Community – Uncle Ian Aurora, illustrated by Natalia Moore

  Cheer: A Book to Celebrate Community – Uncle Ian Aurora, illustrated by Natalia Moore, Flowerpot Press, 9781486718085, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? I like the message–appreciation of everyone that helps us (or children in particular) during our day. This story is basically giving a “cheer” to the dads who made lunches, the librarians that help find books, the fire and police personnel that keep us safe, friends, family, and so much more. The text is very simple and has a rhythmic nature so that should appeal to young children. The accompanying illustrations are colorful and expressive so that will be well received by children.

 Anything you did not like about the book. My only real problem with this book is the intended audience. The text is very simple–one sentence per page. This would lead you to believe that this is something for a very young child. However, the scenarios in the story include bus rides to school, principals, scout clubs, and sports teams–all something that elementary, maybe grades 2-4, would be experiencing. I just could not get a handle on what age group would enjoy this book. I do want to point out that the message is very important so I could see this being used in an elementary school classroom (early elementary grades) as a starter for a lesson in either being grateful or community workers but the text might be a little too young for these children.

To whom would you recommend this book? I am torn between this book being for older or younger children because of the contrast between the wording and the content. Children who enjoy interactive books might enjoy cheering along with the text every time the word “Cheer” is said and I could see this working for a group storytime as well. Might be a good story for children that either appreciate the people in their lives or for those that need to learn to be more appreciative of others in their lives. If children liked the previous book by the same author, Stomp, keep in mind that this is different. Stomp was very interactive and seemed to be appropriate in all ways for a younger audience (plus it was an excellent book for group storytime), but this book is different and will most likely not be understood by very young audiences.

Who should buy this book? I would not recommend purchasing this book.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No, I am having trouble deciding what age group would be appropriate for this book–text is simple but examples are for an older child, at least a child in school.

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: November 13, 2019


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