The Book About Tony Chestnut Reviewed By Eileen Hanley of Bookpleasures.com
Reviewer Eileen Hanley: Eileen has been an educator for thirty-five years.Â Her passions are gardening, cooking, decor, reading, photography and antiquing.Â She is a co-owner in a business and she writes a blog on gardening.View all articles by Eileen Hanley
Author: Laurie Monopoli
ISBN: 13: 978-0-615-31139-5
ISBN: 10 0-615-31139-3
Publisher: Don Monopoli Productions/The Learning Station
Tony Chestnut dances into your life again in The Book About Tony Chestnut. He faces the dilemma all children face when there are transitions in their lives. Tony and his little sister Eileen have moved and it is their first day at a new school. Tony is optimistic about making new friends, but his sister Eileen is sad to leave her old friends and is not sure her friends will get along without her.
Tony and Eileen became observers, hesitating to take part in the activities swirling around them. Eileen is inconsolable and does not respond to any of Tony’s antics. Tony puts his shyness aside and begins to sing. He now had the attention of the entire playground full of children. I don’t want to give away the whole story, but Tony breaks into a little dance pointing to the body parts that make up his name.
His sister Eileen joins in the song and actions and soon all of the children on the playground have joined in song and dance. Tony and Eileen have made friends and all it took was one little shy boy taking a chance – Tony Chestnut!
The illustrations are delightful, childlike and printed on high quality gloss paper. The cover of the book is enticing with Tony dancing across the page, also noting that a CD is included with the book.
The reading level is approximately first grade (6 years old) and up, but the concept is meaningful to both younger and older children. I used the book with a first grade student along with the CD minus the page turn prompt. On the first read through, he was fascinated by the illustrations and was gathering context clues as he turned the pages. Upon using the CD with the music prompt, he had to be reminded when to turn the pages. He said the harp blended into the other music. With further practice listening for the sound of the harp should not be a problem.
I would highly recommend The Book About Tony Chestnut. It is an important issue that children think about on a daily basis, will I make a friend, or will I be rejected? Tony shows that sometimes it is important to take a chance.