HOO HOO WHO?
By: Mary Maier and Lauren Horton
Published: February 7, 2019
Publisher: Building Block Press
Mary Maier wrote and illustrated this book and collaborated with speech pathologist Lauren Horton. Mary Maier’s child is one of the many children who have a speech or language delay. Her 3-year-old son Max is also on the autistic spectrum. Maier said this about the importance of writing a book for children with language delays:
“Kids with language delays work on WH- questions A LOT. Many children know their colors, shapes, numbers, letters, but not the difference between who, what and where. These questions are the building blocks of conversations and are HUGELY important to language development. I started thinking, why didn’t I know about this? Why doesn’t every parent know about the importance of WH- questions? Why aren’t WH-question books as prevalent as shape and number books? So I started doing some research. I wanted to find something to help with my son’s language development. All I could find were books with the word AUTISM in bold print on the front cover. No parent wants to read their child an AUTISM bedtime story—so I decided to write and illustrate my own WH- series of books for all kids, beginning with WHO. And WHO better to go on this journey with than a speech pathologist?
My hope is to spread the word to ALL parents (not just to those whose children have language delays), the importance of WH- questions in language development and that they can be focused on in a fun and natural way—just like all those color books.”
It’s a surprise party for Mouse and all his friends are invited. But Owl’s glasses are broken and he can’t see WHO is at the door. As each guest is described, children will have an opportunity to guess and then shout out the answer. Creative rhyming text and fun exclamations will encourage children to read along and practice the words that may be difficult for them to say.
The illustrations are muted and make reading the book a calming, yet fun activity. The pages are focused more on the large-sized words than the pictures even though the characters are adorable. Kids will love following along and sharing in the excitement of Mouse’s surprise party.
Maier already has plans to write more books focusing on “Where” and “What” through her new publishing company, Building Block Press, which will focus on books for early childhood development and thoughtful design.
Mary Maier graduated from Miami University, where she met her husband, with a degree in Art Education. She is an avid painter with a huge imagination; an important quality when raising two wild boys. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky. Mary has previous experience owning a publishing company for 25+ years solely based on books about the card game bridge.
Lauren Horton received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ball State University in December 2016. Lauren was born in Muncie, Indiana, but now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.
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