I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Published by Neal Porter Books

I Talk Like a River: Scott, Jordan, Smith, Sydney: 9780823445592:  Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  A boy tells of his struggles with stuttering, the sounds that get stuck in his mouth like C, P, and M.  He tries not to talk much, but when his teacher calls on him to tell about his favorite place in the world, he’s forced to make an attempt.  His classmates look at him like there’s something wrong with him.  At the end of the day, his dad picks him up.  “It’s just a bad speech day,” Dad says, and takes him to the river where it’s quiet.  As they walk along the water, his father can tell he’s sad.  Dad points to the river and says, “See how that water moves? That’s how you speak.”  The boy thinks about how the water bubbles, churns, crashes, and then becomes calm and smooth, and that helps him to feel okay about the way he talks.  The next day, he tells the class about his favorite place in the world: the river. Includes an author’s note about his own experience with stuttering.  40 pages; grades K-4.

Pros:  There aren’t a lot of children’s books that address stuttering, and this one does it with poetic text and beautiful illustrations.  The kids in the class are blurry, but the boy, his father, and the river are sharp and clear.  The author’s note adds a nice personal touch.

Cons:  While the boy is fortunate to have such a kind dad who helps him move toward self-acceptance, it seems like he needs more support at school.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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