Write On, Carlos!
Stuart J. Murphy, author
Stuart J. Murphy, author of the award-winning MathStart books (HarperCollins), has developed a new series for Charlesbridge: I See I Learn®. The I See I Learn® books feature simple stories and visual learning strategies to help young children learn important social, emotional, health and safety, and cognitive skills. Stuart, a visual learning specialist, has also served on the authorship teams of a number of major educational programs. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Stuart and his wife, Nancy, live in Boston, Massachusetts, near their children and three grandchildren, Jack, Madeleine, and Camille.
Read more about the author.
Portland Book Review
For a young child, learning to write his or her name is a huge challenge and a great accomplishment. Write On, Carlos!, by Stuart J. Murphy, tells the story of how a rabbit named Carlos learns to write his name after seeing some of his friends writing their own names. Carlos’ mother helps him begin. At the bottom of every page is an alphabet strip highlighting the letter Carlos is practicing. Carlos meets his friends at the sandbox. He is proud when he can use his finger to draw his name in the sand. He had not realized how much work it would take to master the skill, but he did it!
Each book in Murphy’s I See I Learn series includes a section titled “A Closer Look” which provides an additional two pages of activities and questions for further exploration based on the book’s topic. In Write On, Carlos!, children are encouraged to write their own names using the provided alphabet chart. They are also asked to write the names of family members and friends. Once children learn this cognitive skill, they can better recognize and form letters, which leads to writing more words. Write on!
BayViews, October 2011
Series Review: This series focuses on gaining skills for school readiness and daily life. In each tells a story; different classroom characters learn something. For example, in Freda Is Found, children learn what to do when one gets lost, and in Write on, Carlos! children learn the importance of writing one’s name. The appropriate illustrations reinforce lessons learned in the text. For example, in Freda Is Found, “stay calm” is defined as “count to ten,” “breathe deeply,” and “stop and think.” Similiarly, in Write on, Carlos! the complete alphabet is shown on each page where a child’s name appears. The illustrations appear to be computer generated in cool colors.
Murphy’s I See I Learn visual learning series continues with two new titles for children that focus on the cognitive skill of name writing and strategies to stay safe when lost. When Freda’s attention wanders to the toy store window, she stops to look, but her class keeps walking toward the firehouse. Lost, Freda must use all she has learned to help her teachers and classmates find her again. She stays calm, gets help from an adult and is able to tell that adult about herself—full name, address, phone number and school and teacher names. A final flow chart presents readers with these steps, and questions to the readers focus on “What if…” The scariness of being lost is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that most of the illustrations show the class within sight of Freda. In the simultaneously publishing Write On, Carlos (2011), Carlos asks his mom for help in learning to write his name. Over several days, readers can see that his practice is paying off as he progresses from being able to write “Car” to proudly writing his full name on paper, in sand and with chalk while his supportive friends watch. An alphabet chart at the bottom of many pages highlights the letters used to form the names, while the final question section asks readers what names they can write. The bright illustrations clearly show both the effort that Carlos is expending and his imperfect practice pages. Solid series additions that teach useful skills and the power of practice.
School Library Journal
[Freda is Found] introduces readers to safety strategies for getting help if they get lost, an important proficiency as young children begin to explore the world around them. Important cues are given in bold text and illustrated boxes with simple phrases, such as "stay calm, count to ten, breathe deeply, and stop and think." In [Write On, Carlos!], Carlos learns how to write his name practicing with his friends at school and his mother at home. An alphabet border appears on the bottom of each spread, with the letters that make up his name in orange. Both books have vibrant, playful illustrations featuring animated characters that reinforce the story lines. The highlighted text and expanded captions convey the action. In addition, each book includes "A Closer Look" section that reinforces the concepts addressed and offers parents and teachers discussion questions to explore skills and ideas further.