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Harold Finds A Voice

Author: Courtney Dicmas

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ISBN: 9781846435508

Publisher: Child's Play

Binding: Hardcover

Year Distributed: 2014 - 2015

Availability: Past Books

Themes/Topics: Animals, Feelings

Book Acticity

A clever parrot named Harold gets tired of mimicking just the sounds in the apartment where he lives, so one day he seizes the opportunity to escape out into the streets of Paris, where he discovers new sounds and something surprising. This is a picture book where use of phonetic language allows children to enjoy reading and making sounds themselves.

Age Group 4 years

What’s Happening at this Age

  • Understanding that words are read from left to right and pages are read from top to bottom
  • Recognizing their name in print and other often-seen words, like those on signs name beginning letters or sounds of words
  • Matching some letters to their sounds
  • Developing awareness of syllables
  • May use familiar letters to try writing words
  • Retelling stories that have been read to them

Your child already knows how to read some words! Familiar favorite words like their own name, friends’ names, the name of their favorite restaurant, or other places you frequent, are part of your child’s sight word vocabulary. They aren’t quite decoding the words as they will later but they recognize the shape of the word when written out. Some logos like McDonalds or Subway also have color cues that your child can use to figure out the word. More and more, your child is paying attention to the visual clues of words. They are also continuing to make connections between the sounds and the letters that represent them. They may be telling stories by drawing pictures and sometimes adding letters or even a whole word to their drawings. This is a busy time in emergent literacy as your child is standing right on the edge of being able to read and write themselves!

Click here to see a full list of milestones for your 4-year-old as well as tips and activities for you and your child!

Why did we select this book?

Starting with his picture on the cover, we were enchanted by Harold. His mimicking of all the sounds of the apartment from the flush to rush of water made us laugh and made us wonder about all the sounds around us that we might be missing. We imagined this book would be a favorite for families who like silly noises! More important, though, this book invites you to try hearing and making sounds with your child. Pointing out the sounds around you and your child is important to building up your child's perception skills. You can shift from silly sounds like doors creaking to the sounds in words. Helping children hear each sound in a word is a critical skill for beginning readers. Finally, we liked that Harold finds his own voice. This can be a great discussion point for children who want to start to write down their own ideas. Writing together can help your child share her voice and ideas, too!

Book Acticity
Related Activities

After several readings of the book, invite your child to be Harold. Let them make the sound of the teakettle or the shower and even Harold’s loud, “Rawk!” When you finish a reading close your eyes and listen for the noises that Harold might hear. Can you imitate them? When you hear a good noise at any point in the day, ask your child if they think Harold might like that noise. Making sounds is not just about being silly. Silly sounds introduce your child to the sound of language and may make them more eager to say and learn new words.


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