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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2014
I never wrote a review on any product until my 5 years old son brought this book for a book report. I would like to share the letter I wrote to his school.
February 16, 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this brief letter to express my concern regarding the book my son Malachi was given this week for his book report.
The book written by Dennis D. Barnes, is entitled “Stop, Drop and Chill”. The book itself depicts an African American boy who is identified as having ‘anger’ issues- with which he needs to get under control. As you read further into the story, you realize that the boy is upset in response to the way he is treated by the other children- not because he is just outright an ‘angry’ person. I know we have no control over what the storyline suggests, but a better lesson for children would be how to treat others with respect; or for Kindergarten children- how to be ‘nice’ to one another. Apart from the way the young African American child is portrayed in the story, I am most concerned about the learning objectives for my son. I am assuming at his stage of learning, a strong command of the English language, inclusive of proper understanding of grammar and diction is paramount at this level of his education. Terminology used in the text that may be quickly identified as Ebonics, was very difficult for Malachi to comprehend. For example; from “that girl’s a mess”, to “act the fool”, or “chill, y’all” are not examples of proper dialect- nor for that matter, appropriate learning content for a five year old in the classroom setting. The overall tone of the book, portrayed a young boy who just overall presented angry and rageful- not characteristics I wish for my child to identify with as an individual.
As Malachi attempted to answer the questions for his book report based on the content of the story, he demonstrated difficulty grasping the overall concept of the child’s issues with anger, and overall thought process- requiring more support than normal for Malachi to identify the correct answers, as he attempted to understand the boy’s thought process (based on the dialect). For example, the first question of the book report was “What happened at the beginning of the story”. The text states: “Man, I used to get so mad I’d almost blow a fuse!” After ‘translating’ the sentence for him, and the next couple pages of how the other children “got on my nerves” Malachi was able to identify that, in his words…“the boy was mad”.
The overall tone and presentation of the book for a five year old just left me with an overall feeling of discontentment, and concern- prompting me to write this letter in attempts at understanding the true intent or learning objectives for Malachi. I appreciate any clarification or explanations, so that I can better understand how this book would/could benefit an early reader.