Wear a Helmet! Healthy Safety Habits by M.E. Salzmann
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth. Wear a Helmet! Healthy Safety Habits. Minneapolis, MN: Abdo Publishing, 2015, Print.
This small picture book is levelled to the third or “transitional” reading level defined in the Sandcastle series. This series is designed for use in “shared, guided and independent reading and writing activities to support a balanced approach to literacy instruction”. The subject of the book is health and safety. Each photograph shows a child doing something that promotes safety: wearing a bike helmet, a life preserver or a seatbelt. Other children are shown washing hands, using a pot holder and seated at a computer to illustrate online safety. The children featured are in the 7-9 age range and are named to allow readers to relate to them more easily. Younger children will look up to older children pictured doing the right things.
The text is short and very simple, designed for children who are not yet fluent readers. However, for average readers, who might pick up this book in a library, the text would be most appropriate for the lower end of the recommended age 4-9 audience. There is a brief quiz at the end of the book, aimed at a low comprehension level. Strangely, some of the definitions in the glossary contain words that are well above the reading level of the book. For example, the definition of the word “germ” includes the word “organism”. While this book is designed for reading enhancement programs, it does model useful health and safety ideas, so would be a good addition for school and public libraries.
Recommendation: 3 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sean Borle
Sean Borle is a University of Alberta undergraduate student who is an advocate for child health and safety.
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