I love when I find a simple picture book that gives so many great opportunities to model using Joey’s AAC device (and builds in some academic skills as well!). My most recent discover is Oops! Pounce! Quick! Run! By Mike Twohy.
Oops! Pounce! Quick! Run! is an alphabet book, with each page giving just one or two words in alphabetic order to tell a story. It opens with a mouse Asleep, when suddenly a Ball bounces onto his lap, forcing him to Catch it. He is quickly stalked by a Dog, who sticks his Eye into the mouse hole. Upon seeing his ball, he sticks his Feet in. You get the idea. It’s simple, yet tells a clear (but silly) story about a dog and a mouse having a fight over a ball. What’s more, it uses many of the words on Joey’s AAC device, or at least provides an opportunity to use additional core words that are not in the book.
Sleep. Dog. Eye. Nose. Feet. Fast. Where. Surprised. Scared. Happy. Help. Yes. The simple language and storyline of the book provides natural opportunities for Joey to use his core words, or for us to model using his core words on his eye-gaze device. The book gives so many opportunities to hold up a page and say, “What do you see?” For most of the pictures the answer is simple, and is easy to answer using the core words. In one picture, we only see the dog’s nose, and on the next, we see the dog’s eye.
Joey seemed to enjoy the book from the first read, and had a lot to say about it from the beginning. He was engaged and talkative, giving oral utterances, saying words, and selecting words on his AAC device. When we got to the letter H, where the mouse yells “Help!” I may have imagined it, but I swear, when Joey saw the word HELP printed out in large letters across the page of the book, he said help before selecting help on the eye gaze device.
When we got to the letter M, we discovered the mouse was missing. As we studied the page where when the dog is looking for the mouse, Joey used the AAC device to say where. That’s right – where is that mouse?
We also had fun matching foam letters with the corresponding letters on the page. Sometimes I could put the letter on the page and would have Joey take it off, while other times I could hold up two or three letters and ask Joey which letter matches the one on the page. Although there are many good alphabet books out there, I love Oops! Pounce! Quick! Run! because the book tells a story while still giving us letters in order. I love finding books that naturally build in academic skills.