Books with Beauchanes: Chapter 1


Hannah is nearly five years old; her brother Jack is three. Every time I come over to babysit, Hannah makes sure that we follow the same itinerary. Our itinerary is as follows:

1. We all participate in some kind of craft. Their mother usually finds it in the dollar section and I usually find it to be more difficult than the kids do.

2. We watch a movie (usually Disney), make some popcorn and cuddle on the couch.

3.  We pick out two books to read before getting tucked into bed. One is Hannah’s pick and the other is Jack’s.  

I’ll spare you the details of how Jack refuses to stay in bed for a good 30-45 minutes and how the rest of my evening involves laying on the couch while the dog licks me to death. Instead I’ll tell you the details on what happens when you ask two children to help you review a book.

“The Kooky Adventures of My Friend Kookabuk” is a series written by brothers-turned-authors Jesse and Kevin Howard who both have a passion for teaching. They grew up in a family of special education teachers and had eye-opening experiences that led them to create this series. “Kookabuk Shares His Shovel” is the first installment of the series, which uses create storytelling to express topics and themes for both special needs and neurotypical children. Their background combined with their dedication has created a great story for children and parents alike. 

Hannah is pretty good at sharing. She recognizes when it is someone else’s turn and she recognizes when she isn’t rightfully getting her own turn. Her favorite part of the book was when Kookabuk finally shared his green shovel with Emily, the heroine of the series. Hannah was very verbal when the climax of the story was revealed and she enjoyed seeing the artwork of Kookabuk and Emily finally playing together.

Jack is pretty good at not sharing. He will gladly show Hannah his toys but the moment she actually touches one of them – game over. When asked if he liked the book, I received a violent shaking of the head and an audible “No”. To be fair, if a book doesn’t involve some kind of car or truck then his attention span doesn’t normally last past the second page.  Perhaps the second installment will better grasp his attention.