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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Talking Tales: Shh…Don’t Scare the Mushrooms, written and illustrated, by Erica Graham is aimed at helping children who have trouble with the “Sh” sound. The author recommends simply reading the story aloud and giving the child a chance to talk about it. Asking them to read the story could be frustrating for them, and the point of this story is fun – not frustration. It’s hard to talk about this daughter-and-daddy story without saying the “Sh” sound. Parish is going on her first mushroom hunt with her father. She has lots of questions. Dad likes his mushroom hunts to be a quiet time. He repeatedly tells Parish, “Shh… you’ll scare the mushrooms. Watch where you walk and be cautious not to smush any.” Parish continually asks questions like, “Why are the sticker bushes sharp?” and “Why are the clouds so many different shapes?” The book also reminds parents that the letters “Sh” are not the only ones that make the “Sh” sound.
Children will get a giggle out of Parish’s first mushroom hunt with her father. She asks more questions than her father can answer. Erica Graham’s illustrations capture the sense of fun. On the page where Parish asks about cloud shapes, Graham has drawn a cloud to look like a mushroom. When Parish asks if mushrooms have ears, so they can hear her and hide, that page has a silly drawing of mushrooms with ears. An illustration of a mushroom wearing a hard hat and holding a tiny shovel accompanies Parish’s question about how mushrooms hide. I highly recommend Talking Tales: Shh…Don’t Scare the Mushrooms for children who struggle with the “Sh” sound and children who might want to go on a mushroom hunt. It’s a clever feel-good story. Parish and her dad succeed.