Official Review: Dream happy be great by Gary Krutz PhD

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bookowlie
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Official Review: Dream happy be great by Gary Krutz PhD

Post by bookowlie » 08 Oct 2018, 11:05

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dream happy be great" by Gary Krutz PhD.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Dream Happy, Be Great by Gary Krutz PhD is an illustrated children’s book about living a good life and treating all people with respect. It is intended to be used interactively, where parents and teachers can discuss the concepts with kids. The book is divided into two parts by age group, with the first section focused on ages 2-6 and the second part on ages 7-11. Each page is devoted to a general aspect of behavior such as teamwork, giving, conversation, etc. There are also warnings against negative actions in life – for example, bullying and stealing.

I enjoyed this short, educational book. It is important to teach children good manners and encourage them to develop good habits such as being kind to others and keeping clean. There is no plot as this is more of a reference book, with each page highlighting a general topic.

The content feels a bit thin and more like an outline for a class discussion rather than a book. I would have liked to see the concepts expanded on, rather than one page devoted to each idea with only two or three sentences. For example, “Eat Well” explains that you should eat fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein. There is only one other sentence included that you will be stronger and healthier with a balanced diet. The picture on this page depicts a chef standing over a table with many different foods. Children ages 2-6 would not understand what protein and grains are from either the picture or text. I don’t think young kids understand what types of foods are considered dairy, contain protein, etc. It would have been helpful to include the pictures of the food by category, at the very least.

There are a few short, simple sentences on each page which makes this an ideal book for a child who is beginning to read independently. The accompanying artwork gives good context clues about what is being discussed. This is helpful for young readers when trying to figure out particular words.

One gripe I have about this book is the targeted age group. The first section is geared toward ages 2-6, but seems more appropriate for children 4 years old and up. I don’t think a 2-year-old or 3-year-old would absorb this information easily unless it is presented within a light, fun storyline. The second section is geared toward ages 7-11. The text feels too sparse and simplistic for children over the age of 8. Also, a few of the topics in the second section are a bit advanced to discuss with children. The warnings about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are broached in a very cursory way.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The story is well written, with the exception of one grammatical error (a missing apostrophe). I can’t say the story is fun or something that a child would find entertaining. Still, the concepts are easy to understand and provide a roadmap about how to lead a good life. I would recommend the book to parents and teachers as it would be a useful tool to jump-start a discussion about the right and wrong ways to act.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 12 Oct 2018, 00:12

I like the sound of this interactive concept. I think parents tend to do that naturally when they read to their kids. But some may not, so nice to have the encouragement. It sounds like if the target audience was honed a bit better the book would have been more successful. Thanks for the introduction to this sweet book.
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Post by mac83 » 12 Oct 2018, 08:28

With the way you described the book, it sounds like it would be better for parents and teachers like you suggested. They could use the book as a way to introduce what the author is trying to incorporate. I do like that it is an interactive book. Sometimes books miss that key part for parents and children.
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Post by Book Lover 35 » 12 Oct 2018, 09:31

I like that is an interactive book. From what you explained, I don't think little ones would enjoy it. I like where the author was going in this book. Great review!
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Post by bookowlie » 12 Oct 2018, 09:34

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Although I don't think young kids would find the book fun, the concepts are still important for them to learn.
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Post by Sharon serena » 12 Oct 2018, 13:25

Great review. I think that the author tried his best in making the book more appropriate for a larger audience but still, the little ones will need more help in understanding the concepts.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Oct 2018, 14:42

"The warnings about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are broached in a very cursory way."--I agree. It is far too early at age 7-8 to broach these topics. It sounds like the author had a good goal in mind, but failed to execute effectively. I think many adults don't even understand carbs and proteins, so children certainly won't.

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Oct 2018, 15:56

kfwilson6 wrote: ↑
12 Oct 2018, 14:42
"The warnings about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are broached in a very cursory way."--I agree. It is far too early at age 7-8 to broach these topics. It sounds like the author had a good goal in mind, but failed to execute effectively. I think many adults don't even understand carbs and proteins, so children certainly won't.
There was also a page about toxic chemicals, which seemed even more of an advanced concept. I guess the author's intent was to start pushing the dangers of certain things at an early age, so that kids would steer clear of drugs, smoking, etc. as they grow older.
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Post by gali » 12 Oct 2018, 23:32

A children’s book about living a good life seems like a good book filled with positive messages. I prefer kids books in which the messages aren't that blatant, though. It indeed seems that adults will relate to the book more than the kids. Great review as always!
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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 13 Oct 2018, 12:31

This seems to be a book which will make for great reading for children if parents or teachers read it with them. The illustrations are a bonus. Thanks for the review!

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Post by bookowlie » 13 Oct 2018, 14:01

gali wrote: ↑
12 Oct 2018, 23:32
A children’s book about living a good life seems like a good book filled with positive messages. I prefer kids books in which the messages aren't that blatant, though. It indeed seems that adults will relate to the book more than the kids. Great review as always!
Thanks! I agree. The book seems more suited to parents and teachers as an outline to discuss certain topics with children.
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Post by sonya01 » 13 Oct 2018, 17:06

The concept of this book sounds extremely good, but one of the issues may be that the difference between a two-year old and an eleven-year old is so vast. It would be nice to see a revised edition targeting smaller, more specific age groups, perhaps even year by year. I think a reference book along these lines would be worth its weight in gold. Thank you for a great review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Oct 2018, 18:47

I understand how the age group issue would be a problem. Perhaps if you had the right parent or teacher, they could make the book fun. I do understand these are important topic to learn. Thanks for the thorough review.
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Post by bookowlie » 14 Oct 2018, 10:17

Thanks Sonya and Kandscreeley! Sonya - I agree there is such a big difference between a 2-year-old and an 11-year-old. Since the book is sparsely written, the differences are even more noticeable. Kandscreeley - I agree parents or teachers could make the lessons of the book fun, but the book itself is not entertaining on its own.
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Post by bookowlie » 14 Oct 2018, 10:21

I wanted to add that the entire time I wrote this review, I kept searching for the right way to describe this book. I finallly figured out what the format reminded of. It made me think of a set of index cards or an agenda-style list that a person would use in a presentation - with quick notes to prompt them what to talk about.
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