Monday, August 9, 2010

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Hooway for Wodney Wat is the story of a timid little rat named Rodney who has a very common misarticulation - he pronounces 'w' for 'r'. Initially Rodney is shy around the other students in his class because they make fun of how his speech sounds. However, one day Camilla Capybara joins the class and announces that she is the biggest, meanest, and smartest rodent there is. All of the other rodents are terrified of her, especially Rodney. But when the class decides to play Simon Says and lets Rodney be the one who calls out directions, Camilla soon discovers she's not really the best rodent of the bunch. Rodney emerges as the victor and all of the other little rodents cheer him on as their hero. As a speech-language pathologist I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the book. I like the fact that Rodney is seen as a winner despite how his speech sounds, but I'm not to crazy about the bullying aspect of the story. The children I've shared the book with really seem to love it and request it on a regular basis. They cheer when Rodney triumphs over Camilla and take heart in the fact that even though their speech might not always sound like everyone elses', they can still be the hero of the story. Where to Buy: Most major children's book sellers carry the book.

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