When We Go Walking
Written by Cari Best
Illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker
With integration being such an important concept in education today, this book is a must have. What better way to interest your second grade children in taking a walk around the neighborhood or school than to follow Wendy and her family on their walk? Walking, stretching, bending, and twisting, sight words, new vocabulary, and new ideas. Literacy and PE all from one book. But wait, there’s more! Recycling and repurposing equals science. Wendy and her family find all sorts of fun stuff to put into her collecting bag. They see birds and trains, old clocks and old signs. The illustrations are colorful, detailed, and have added dimension due to the creative collage work of the illustrator. There is a wonderful “I spy” quality of this book as the text and pictures match perfectly.
Although this would be a great book to read aloud to first grade children, the vocabulary and more complex language make it more appropriate for second grade. “Then I muscle my legs like Wonder Girl’s and lug it up the hill.” The authors use of words in this way, paired with the illustrator’s sweet pictures help the reader expand vocabularies, learn different ways to say things, and gain comprehension from pictures. PE, art, and even some science can be integrated into literacy lessons with this book. It might even be possible to squeeze out a lesson on being environmentally friendly out of this book as Wendy and her brother find trash that does not belong on their Rambling Road.
Whether a child has memories of family walks or is looking forward to making them, all children (and adults) will find something fun and interesting here.