Marla Stewart Konrad,
I Like to Play (World Vision Early Reader Series)
Tundra Books, 2010.
I Like to Play is part of the World Vision Early Reader Series. All royalties from the sale of ILike to Play go to support World Vision’s work with children. World Vision is a development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
The book, in keeping with the series format, is full of gorgeous photographs and simple text. It captures the universal themes of playing. "Playing in water can be messy, but is lots of fun!" The text is accompanied by three pictures: two girls playing with water spouting from a tap, five children under an umbrella in the rain, and a boy playing in the water by the beach. The children are from an assortment of cultures and are united in their joy of playing with water because it certainly is fun!
While the picture depicts the universality of types of play it also illustrates different ways of dress, economic conditions, geography, and weather. The variety of outfits in the four pictures accompanying "My Friends and I love to dance." are vibrant and beautiful. Pictures depicting the text "When I do not have anything to play with, I can make my own toys." show both poverty and ingenuity. Mountains, sand, urban streets, lush greenery are in the background of many pictures as are sun, clouds, rain, and snow.
The pictures are thought provoking and will prompt many questions from young readers. Parents and caregivers will enjoy the photographs. There is so much joy and focus in these pictures. "On my own or with friends…playing ball is great fun." A picture set on a stark plain of four children playing with a soccer ball is breathtaking in its capture of a moment of exuberance and happiness.
This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries. World Vision offers guided reading activities on its web page to accompany the early readers.
Thematic Links: Play; Children; Cultures; World Vision Canada
Vol. 15, number 4
E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
G - Good, even great at times, generally useful!
A - Average, all right, has its applications.
P - Problematic, puzzling, poorly presented.