A Wild Day with Dad
written by Sean Callahan; illustrated by Daniel Howarth
2012 (Albert Whitman)
Review copy provided by the publisher
Check out STEM Friday for math and science links.
If you are looking for a short read with our youngest readers that will encourage discussion and movement related to animals, you would do well to read A Wild Day with Dad. An abridged board book edition of A Wild Father's Day, the dad in this story encourages his daughter and son to have a wild day and let out their inner animal. It starts with bouncing on the bed like a kangaroo. After that warm-up, the children are asked to stretch like cats. Next, a trip to the playground allows the kids and Dad to swing like monkeys. Later, Dad and the children wrestle like bears. Finally, the whole crew ends up going to sleep as they are tired puppies.
There are a couple of angles that you could explore after you read this to preschoolers. It would be a fun kinesthetic activity to act out the movement of several animals. You could swing (gently) your neck like a giraffe, or walk like a crab. Crawl on all fours like a monkey or swim like a dolphin. This could lead to a further discussion of why animals move like they do. A second activity would be to collect pictures of animals playing and talk about how they are similar to humans in their play and how they are different. A Wild Day with Dad would also make for a fine bedtime story for a 2 or 3 year old.