Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries

May 2, 2015

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries. Vanita Oelschlager. 2011. 4o pages. Vanita Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.]

How exactly do you explain common idioms to a kindergartner? I never really put a lot of thought into that question, but Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries is definitely a go-to for any parent or teacher who struggles to explain the nuances of not-so-literal language to a little one.

This book takes extremely common food-related idioms, such as “the big cheese” and “your goose is cooked,” and uses dynamic, colorful illustrations and witty dialogue to provide literal explanations. When you flip the page upside-down, you’re provided a definition and an example sentence. The illustrations are fun — who doesn’t want to see a potato with its roots grounded in the couch or a kid who’s got food instead of brains?

This is a great tool to use with younger kids to explore an area of language that adults take for granted. The language is not so difficult that a child would struggle to read and comprehend on their own, but it isn’t a level 1 book, either. It provides adults a great chance to really get into a book and have a discussion about it on different levels. I definitely recommend it as a guided reading.

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