Book: Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds
Author: Jim Stoten
Age Range: 3-7
Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds is a combination seek-and-find and counting book by Jim Stoten. Mr. Tweed, as he is strolling about his town, keeps running into people who have lost items that are important to them. Seeking to help, Mr. Tweed assists each person. First there is one lost kite, which readers are asked to help look for in a busy park scene, then there are two lost kittens in a garden, and so on. All the way up until the last search, in which the neighbors give Mr. Tweed a party to thank him, and the reader searches for ten presents.
For me, the message in this book (about helping people) is a tiny bit heavy-handed (particularly when the whole town turns out for a party to celebrate Mr. Tweed's good deeds).
Here's an example of the text:
"It feels good to help people," Mr. Tweed thought to himself, as he left the park.
He was passing by some cottages when a voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Tibbles? Timkins? Where are you both?"
Oh no, Mrs. Fluffycuddle's kittens have escaped and are hiding somewhere in the garden?
Can you help Mr Tweed and Mrs Fluffycuddle find 2 kittens over the page?"
We continue hearing about how Mr. Tweed feels "very happy to have helped so many people already", etc., as the book progresses. But I suspect that for parents who wish to use fiction to encourage their kids to help others, Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds will be well-received. It's certainly not a bad message.
Anyway, what I do like about Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds is the combination of counting book and seek--and-find. Stoten's stylized illustrations are quite busy, and the book is challenging as a seek-and-find. The images seem to me to get slightly more difficult as the book progresses, too, even as kids are also being challenged by having to find more items.
Stolen's illustrations aren't quite as madcap and silly as those of, say, Brian Biggs or Richard Scarry. But they are populated by a combination of people and (frequently clothed) animals, and are chock full of realistic details (the booths at a farmer's market, a swimming pool full of rafts and floats, etc.). I can see these images providing hours of seek-and-find entertainment, along with a bit of humor, and a bit of counting practice.
To those looking for a new seek-and-find book, as well as some practice in counting objects, Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds fits the bill. And if you want a book that shows your kids how great it is to do things for other people (and how you may eventually be recognized and appreciated for this), it works for that purpose, too. It's a nice, solid, sturdy book, too, with raised letters on the cover, and a certain charming quirkiness to the pictures. Definitely worth a look!
Publisher: Flying Eye Books (@FlyingEyeBooks)
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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