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I Can Help

Author: David Hyde Costello

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ISBN: 9780374335267

Publisher: Farrar Strous & Giroux

Binding: Hardcover

Year Distributed: 2012 - 2013

Availability: Past Books

Themes/Topics: Animals

Book Acticity

When a duck gets lost and a monkey helps him find his way, it starts a chain reaction in which all the young animals help each other solve their problems.


Age Group 24 months

What’s Happening at this Age

  • Pretending to read books
  • Finishing sentences in their favorite books
  • Scribbling on paper
  • Knowing names of books and identifying them by the picture on the cover
  • Turning pages right to left
  • Making connections between pictures and real life, like noticing their own shoes when they see a picture of shoes.

A whole lot of learning goes into how your toddler is interacting with books now! You’ve been reading to them for two years and now they know how to hold the book so their stuffed animals can see the pictures when your toddler “reads” to them. Your child may even be pointing out interesting things on the page and asking questions just like you do when you read to them. They likely have a favorite book that they want you to read, and that they may even pretend to read to you. This may not seem important as they’re “just pretending” but they’re doing all the things a skilled reader does without actually reading the text. This pretending is an important part of becoming a reader. When they “read” to you, it’s your turn to say, “Again! Again!” and know that you’re building a reader!

Click here to see a full list of milestones for your 2-year-old as well as tips and activities for you and your toddler!

Why did we select this book?

This delightful picture book about a series of jungle animals helping each other was selected because of the simple phrases like, "I can help" that repeat throughout the book . Words that repeat in a book, or books that are read again and again, can be very comforting for a child. We all want book reading to be a comforting experience for a child, because every time a book is read, a child's brain grows stronger. This is also a picture book that your child can explore alone in between readings, as the illustrations tell the story with even more details than the words.


Book Acticity
Related Activities

Just like the animals in this book, family members help each other. You help the child in your life eat, bathe, play, learn, and sleep. As your two-year-old starts to understand more and more of what you say to them, you may welcome any help that understanding can give to your daily routine. For example, how wonderful to ask your child, “Can you help me pick a book to read?” Your child may start to use the phrase “I can help” after many repeated readings of this book. Try repeating “I can help” together when it appears in the book, and praise your child when he is able to repeat that line with you. Your praise will create good feelings associated with reading time. And good feelings at reading time mean your child will be more open to all the learning and growing opportunities a book can offer.

One of the funny parts of this story is that the duckling gets lost in the beginning of the book and again at the end of the book! Could you make a game out of this in your house or apartment? Try a little game of hide-and-seek with your Dear One, or use a pair of stuffed animals to play a game of hide and seek.


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