of A Whale of a Tale!
By Bonnie Worth, published by Random House
copyrighted by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., 2006
|At first glance, this 45 page book looks
like a fun Dr. Seuss children’s book. The illustrations on
the front cover draw the reader in because they look like
exact replicas of beloved characters created by Dr. Seuss,
the famous children’s author and illustrator. Because of
this visual display, one expects to read a book with an
excellent rhyming scheme and the great hallmark humor of Dr.
Seuss. Worth’s book, however, falls short of that mark.
Although the book is in rhyme, the rhymes are often awkward.
They don’t roll off the tongue, making the reading difficult
for young readers. The strongest aspect of the book is the
general, but accurate, content given about porpoises,
dolphins, and whales. Children learn about the physiology,
behavior, and special abilities of many different
cetaceans, such as bottlenose dolphins, Dall’s porpoises,
and humpback whales. Had the writer written in her own
style, it would have been better than copying the hallmark
style of someone else, especially someone as well known as
Dr. Seuss. This book has merit on its own, but it falls
short of the imitated standard. Maybe that is the lesson
here for all of us. Namely, live authentically, on the basis
of your own merit, and there won’t be any need to live an
| Rating: 2/5 whale tails
| by Rhonda LaFountaine
|Children Need to Live Their Ideas
by Rhonda LaFountaine
|Children need to live their ideas.
Education, at its very best, allows the child to bring forth
what is inside. The true meaning of education comes from the
root word educare, which means to draw forth or to bring
out. This is a much different process from the typical
meaning we ascribe to education. As stated in the typical
dictionary, the meaning of education is “the act or process
of imparting or acquiring general knowledge; the result
produced by instruction.” One definition educates from the
outside in, the other from the inside out. One honors the
rich inner knowing of the child, the other assumes the child
needs to be filled up with information he does not know. I
had the good fortune of starting a school in the
mid-eighties where I was able to watch the process of
drawing forth and bringing out multiple times. Every time, I
was thrilled to watch the child produce her own results and
be proud of the knowledge she had. Here is a story
describing one such experience.
Children know what they need. They know what they came here
to contribute. They have an inherent sense of who they are,
and they will tell us if we will listen.
|The Child needed to know
what was inside Rocks.
Safe-Child-Watching Teacher said,
“I will let you break rocks,
but you must think of a way to do this safely.”
found a cloth and a hammer
and told Safe-Child-Watching Teacher,
that she would cover the rocks
and then break them.
“Yes,” said Safe-Child-Watching Teacher,
“I also have plastic glasses so you can keep your vision
Needs-to Know Child began to crack Rocks.
she cracked Rocks
for 5 hours that day.
She cracked Rocks
for 30 days.
At the end of these days,
she put the tools
on a shelf
and said to Safe-Child-Watching Teacher,
“Now I know
what is inside Rocks.”
|This child grew up to be a brilliant artist, and much of
what she paints and photographs comes in the form of minute,
often microscopic looking at the internal workings of
things. She knew what she needed to learn, even at the age