Perfect activity for your list-loving child on a cold winter’s day.
Sign Here by Gabrielle Djanogly & Adele Mildred. Prestel Junior, 2018. 48 pages.
Reading Level: Ages 8 & up
Recommended for: Ages 8 — Adult
The subtitle does an excellent job of summing up this fun, tongue-in-cheek activity book, “Twenty-Two Unofficially Official Pull-Out Forms for Dreams, Pets, Pocket Money, Feelings, Secrets and So Much More.”
Are you angry? Here is a form to help you work out your feelings on paper. (And maybe figure out where this anger is coming from . . .)
Maybe you WERE angry and want to apologize. Never fear! Straight from the Department of Regret, Remorse , and Reconciliation comes an official apology form. Yes, the form does allow the writer to add a “but,” yet it warns that doing so “automatically voids this official apology.”
From serious to whimsical, these forms will draw a reader in, gravely acknowledging an emotion, but adding some laughter to most situations. Are you afraid of something? At the end of the Report of Fear is a template for designing your own “Badge of Bravery” as well as an assurance that:
Fear is a very normal emotion. Irrational fears are called phobias. We have special (and long) names for some of these fears. A fear of buttons is called koumpounophobia. If you concentrate very hard and try to say this you may forget your own fear for a moment.
Do you have a secret? (Is it that your parents are aliens?) Or do you like/really like/*love/adore someone? As the form gravely observes, “*Love is a particularly special confession, to be guarded with dragon-like ferocity and dog-like loyalty.”
I particularly appreciate how the secret form concludes, “The Shhhh Society would like you to know a secret should always be exciting and never frightening.”
Please note: there is a form to send Father Christmas/Santa Claus. In the form, children can select what items will be left out for Santa Claus’s consumption. Options include cookies, but also suggest mince pies, rum, and beer. I can only think this book, originating in Europe, must be referring to some British traditions since I’ve never heard of leaving alcohol out for Santa!
Maybe that particular form, or some other, isn’t your cup of tea? Due to perforated pages, it is easy to remove forms. (Which also makes sharing this book between several people much easier.)
Navigating the waters of imagination and practicality with cheerful good humor, Sign Here provides a delightful outlet for a child who gravitates toward lists.
Cautions: None: however, you know your child, and I would recommend previewing the forms to make sure there are none that would encourage, rather than help, a particular issue.
Overall rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
- Worldview/moral value: 4
- Artistic value: 5
This book was provided free from the publisher in return for a fair review.