Shelby's Imagination Station
Colby Cedar Smith
Shelby is an eight-year-old girl who enjoys play dates and cooking dinner with her parents, but what she loves most of all is using her imagination. She imagines what it would be like to be a bus driver, a zookeeper, an artist, an astronaut, and finally a teacher. When Shelby wants to imagine something, she jumps into her imagination station and she becomes it.
Elementary school teacher Shelley Sleeper has fashioned Shelby’s Imagination Station as a tool to help children learn to read by providing them with a story they will find exciting. This pragmatic picture book is equipped with a letter directed at the parents of young readers stressing the importance of their involvement and the learner’s need for repetition. Sleeper also includes a helpful and effective guide for creating reading comprehension questions as well as highlighted vocabulary words throughout the story.
The simple yet colorful watercolor illustrations that accompany the text are quirky and alluring. The imaginative images of Shelby as a goofy and lanky child fit well with Sleeper’s perky writing style and the general mood of the piece. Although Shelby’s Imagination Station seems to be a bit homespun in both writing and appearance, the message of this charming book has merit and could potentially inspire more parents to spend time reading with their kids.
Most young readers are sure to enjoy hopping into Shelby’s imagination station and, in the end, even the adults reading along will surely be considering what they want to be when they grow up.