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.
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In this latest entry in the I See I Learn series, Camille and her friends all want to make sand forts at the beach. But when they try, the results are minuscule and unsatisfactory. Only when they work together can they build a truly spectacular fort. The all-animal cast, in various shades of brown and beige, makes this acceptable and appealing to children of all ethnicities. Key concepts about teamwork are highlighted in spot illustrations with large, bold captions, and a set of thoughtful questions and suggestions can be used to help kids internalize the message.
Murphy's I See I Learn series continues with two new titles aimed at teaching kids valuable emotional and social skills. [In Camille's Team,] Camille's favorite beach activity is building a sand fort. As three friends arrive, they decide to each build their own forts, too. But progress is slow working separately. When they decide to team up and cooperate, other beachgoers stop and take notice of the result. Murphy explicates the steps to good cooperation with insets and diagrams and includes some thought-provoking follow-up questions. The simple, brightly colored illustrations keep the focus on the facial expressions and body language of his anthropomorphized cast of characters. Two more solid entries to a useful, if not particularly artful series.
Kutztown University Spring Book Review, March 2012
Camille goes to to beach with her mother one day and decides to run around and build a sand castle. As she is building her sand castle, her friends, Carlos, Freda, and Percy, come and say they are going to build their own sand castles. One by one, their sand castles don't work and they decide to work together and cooperate to build a huge one. Through working together and being a team the Big Fort Team, as they call themselves, builds and amazing sand castle. At the end of the story it shows how team work can bring a great outcome. –Rebecca Livsey, Student, Kutztown University
School Library Journal
While at the beach with her mother, Camille decides to build a fort. She is soon joined by three friends who begin making their own small forts in the sand. After a wave washes all their efforts away, Camille comes up with a plan: working together to build one big fort, and it attracts the attention of other children on the beach. When asked who built it, the Big Fort Team happily takes credit. Full-color illustrations show cartoon-style animals learning about cooperation. Four inset pictures with bold captions—"make a plan," "work together," "share the fun," "cooperate"—reinforce the steps demonstrated in this simple story. These insets are repeated with four follow-up questions in "A Closer Look" in the back matter. This small picture book is useful for teachers, but it is an additional purchase. –Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN