It's easy for children to feel like adults constantly bark rules at them, seemingly for no reason. In this simple, loving safety book for kids, retired Fire Captain Dave Merino uses the fundamental question of childhood – "Why?" – as the gateway to a gentle but memorable exploration of how to stay safe in a world full of dangers.
As the only collection of children's safety poems written by an actual firefighter, "This Is Why We Say…" offers parents and teachers an entirely new way to teach children the reasons behind the rules. Captain Dave's whimsical haikus and colorful illustrations transform fear into fun, helping children learn about the world's dangers with smiles on their faces.
The poems present every safety message in kid-friendly words and playful fonts. At the heart of it all is Captain Dave's deep empathy for the way children see the world. For example, with a simple shift from "Why" to "Why NOT," he acknowledges that to a child, it seems only natural to curiously wander off and explore all the wondrous things in the woods, field, or store. Rather than frightening kids with stories of hidden menaces, he lovingly awakens their own empathy by reminding them that when they cry because they're lost, we adults cry, too.
Complete explanations follow the haikus, teaching kids everything they need to know to stay safe from hazards like electricity, water, slippery surfaces, guns, and tools made for grownups. Even when dealing with such scary topics as car crashes, Captain Dave maintains an encouraging tone. Instead of causing anxiety by focusing too much on the threat, he explains in upbeat words how well rules like "buckle up" protect kids from it.
In addition to a wide variety of specific safety lessons, the book includes two very special haikus that will touch your kids' hearts and stay with them throughout their lives. The first poem helps children see the hidden harm caused by bullying, so they understand that "Be kind to everyone" is a safety rule just as important as "Don't stand close to the river's edge." The second powerfully expresses Captain Dave's core message:
Why do we say all these things? Because YOU are IMPORTANT and we love you!