Brief Overview

From A to Z with Energy by Connie Bernstein Dow uses each letter of the alphabet to suggest different ways to be active. The pacing of the book is constant throughout the story (I counted 13 syllables per page), giving readers the opportunity to clap or tap the beat; and to move along in the story !

Examples of activities are shown for both indoors, such as at the gym, school or home; as well as, outdoors. On the letter N page, Dow shows children outdoors on a nature hike and for the letter P page, children are illustrated being active in the playground (the letter P page).

The letter M is used to introduce muscles and how it can be found from head to toe. A healthy lunch is highlighted for the letter L; she goes on to note that food provides fuel for one’s body to grow.

Towards the end of the story, Dow includes the worlds eXhale for the letter X, as the day comes to an end and Y for yawn.

Thoughts

What a fun way to introduce both letters and encourage kids to be more active!

I can totally see this book being read on the first day of school in a physical Ed/ gym class. The author takes initiative to introduce a variety of rich and action packed vocabulary. Eating a healthy lunch (nutrition), exhaling (breathing/emotional regulation) and playing (playground, hiking, stretching) are a few other ways that Dow chooses to show how energy can be dispersed; food can be used for fuel and skipping, twirling, dancing, exhaling are all ways to be active.

Teachers can use this book used to jumpstart units (parents/guardians can do this from home too):

Music and Dance Unit

A teacher can introduce rhythm to their unit and have the kids dance or clap to the beat of the story.

Nutrition & Health

The teacher can introduce different things that make up a healthy body: healthy foods, mindful breathing and sleep.

Feelings & Emotional Regulation

Teachers can ask how they think certain characters may be feeling in this action packed story since the facial expressions in this story are pretty clear and easy to understand. There are so many faces with kids looking excited, happy, nervous, determined, tired, etc. The kids can how certain kids react similar or different to different situations.

All the examples provided are many that children are likely familiar with and can motivate them to get more in tune with their bodies through the different movements throughout the story.

As with all the Free Spirit Publishing books, there are always helpful free resources at the end of the book to further inspire parents/ teachers/ guardians to grow the ideas in this book to help facilitate group discussion or activity with your child or student(s) .

Honesty, I would love to see a dance and/or music video that would go hand in hand with this book, when reading this book!

**Thank you Free Spirit Publishing for providing this book for honest review.


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