Splish is a young frog that desires to read more than anything else. His father reads the Bible aloud to his family daily. His mother reads to him, his older brother and younger sister can both read, and all of his friends read as well, but somehow Splish has been left behind. Frustrated by his lack of reading abilities, he doubts his Mama’s patient, wise words as she repeatedly assures him that it takes time to learn to read, and he will indeed master the art.
In her capacity as a homeschooling mother, Mama frog soothes Splish each time he expresses his fears that he will never, ever learn to read. “And then Mama said, ‘It takes time to learn to read, Splish…’” forms the repeating element of encouragement for all young children impatient for the inevitable breakthrough necessary before fluent reading skills emerge. Mama frog continues to read to Splish daily and to encourage his reading efforts until the developmental leap is made and Splish realizes that his Mama was right all along: it does take time to learn to read.
As any adult who has taught a young child to read can attest, the waiting period between the desire and the eventual achievement of that goal is often a frustrating, disappointing time. Gena Suarez, co-publisher of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and homeschooling mother of five, knows this stage of life well. She is intimately familiar with this tenuous time, and provides encouragement for young students and their teachers in And Then Mama Said...It Takes Time to Learn to Read.
When read aloud, Suarez’s text brings out the best nurturing Mama voice inside each of us. Paired with bright, bold illustrations from Kevin Collier, young readers will be swept into the world of Bliss Hollow and reassured that all things occur in God’s perfect timing. Collier’s drawings of the frog family and their animal friends are filled with saturated colours and are somewhat cartoon-like in their rendering – always an appealing style for children.