Monday, January 13, 2014

REVIEW: Three Heinemann Read & Learn Stay Healthy! Books

Stay Healthy! What Should We Eat? by Angela Royston
Stay Healthy! Why Do We Need to Drink Water? by Angela Royston
Stay Healthy! Why Do We Need to be Active? by Angela Royston

I picked these up for some social studies work for my 6 year old daughter. As a reminder, I homeschool my daughter as well as my 10 year old son. Honestly, I don't remember how I happened to get these three. I know I requested them from the library so I picked them up without having really looked inside them. I didn't know until I got them home that they are readers (books meant for the child to read himself or herself). They were too juvenile for my daughter for me to read to her (which is what I was looking for). She could have read them herself with some assistance.

What Should We Eat? This book was published in 2006 and yet it used the term "starchy foods" instead of carbohydrates. It used other appropriate terms such as protein, fats and sugars so I'm not sure why the choice to use "starchy foods" instead of the more appropriate (and, today, more commonly used) carbohydrates.

Why Do We Need to Drink Water? Fairly basic information regarding why we need water. It did leave out the fact that our bodies are made up mostly of water. While it did enumerate various body fluids for which we need water (tears, mucus, even pee), it never mentioned that we're really just one big vessel of water. I know my own kids find this sort of trivia entertaining so I noticed that omission. I think that fact also drives home the point fairly well that we need to make sure we stay adequately hydrated.

Why Do We Need to be Active? My one complaint about this book is that it doesn't actually answer the question it poses "What Happens If You Are Not Active?" all that well. It just states simply that your body gets weaker. There are so many more reasons to stay active and so many more consequences to not being active. Regular exercise helps kids feel less stressed, build strong bones and joints, pay better attention at school, and more.

All in all, these books are fine readers if that is what you are looking for. They fall pretty short on educating the reader about the importance of making healthy food choices, drinking plenty of water and staying active. I really feel like they could and should have done both. The books did pose questions and engage the reader to answer them. If read with a parent or educator, these questions can lead to further discussion and learning. My daughter and I whipped through these three books quite quickly and now we're on the hunt to find books with more in depth information on the same topics.

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