Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elbert's Bad Word by Audrey Wood Illustrated by Audrey and Don Wood

Elbert's Bad Word by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Audrey and Don Wood takes a new approach in this book about "bad" words. I am so glad I chose these authors for my A/P/I, and this book lived up to my expectations.
Elbert is a little boy who hears a word he had never heard before, but he could tell it was not a good word to say. Once he hears this word, he goes on with his day at the party. However, when an accident occurred, Elbert said this bad word out loud! People were shocked (and not in a good way). His mother made him clean his mouth with soap and told him to never say it again. Elbert then decides he needs to find a way to make that bad word go away forever and leave him alone. Therefore, he takes a trip to a wizard who gives Elbert the tools to make the word go away for good. The wizard advises Elbert to say other words when the bad word feels as though it is about to come out. Back at the party, another accident occurred. However, this time Elbert knew exactly what to do. Instead of using the bad word, he used a lot of silly words to express himself.
There were so many aspects of this book that I really liked. I think it explains an alternative to saying a bad word that children could understand and relate to. Without saying the word, the author makes it clear that it is nasty. The way Wood describes the bad word was an aspect I really loved. She described the word as a small storm cloud, ugly, and covered in dark hair. When Elbert says this word, the word was described even more dramatically. The illustrations that accompanied this page made the word look like a monster, and I thought that was so creative. The illustrations throughout the book were detailed and looked like they were drawn with great consideration to what the text was saying. The colors are bright, the facial expressions are detailed, and there are numerous small elements that give the book a little something extra.
I think this book would be a great tool for talking about "bad" words with students. It offers an alternative solution, and it is a pretty creative one. I think this is a strategy that many parents try to teach their children. By reading this book, it promotes the idea of expressing emotions in a safe way.

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