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Left. Right. Right. Left.

A fun way to help children tell their left hand from their right hand, and make sense of directions.

Photo of Ayah Younis

Written by

This is a story of two brothers, Liam almost 4 years old, and Jackson around 9 years old. They live in the city with their working parents. They always play in a near by park. Today, their parents allowed Liam to walk back with Jackson from the park, who playfully tells Liam he cannot find the way asking indirectly for his younger brother's help. 

The book could be developed to be a pop up book, however, it will tear easily with the targeted age group. However, simple flaps and textures could be added.


--

Hi, I am Liam. 

L I A M. I can spell my name and it starts with the letter L. 

[to illustrator: Liam is tracing the letter L in the air in a step by step way up-down-left-right]

And this is my brother Jack. It starts with the letter J.

[to illustrator: Liam is tracing the letter J in the air in a step by step way up-down-half circle to the left]

Today, I am very excited. I will walk back home with Jack!

[to illustrator: the brothers are playing in a playground, the kids there reflect a nice diversity including a child with disability. Add a humorous element for my whole life part]

Home is a few blocks away. Dad drew the directions for us on a paper. Jack will read them for us.

[to illustrator: we see the paper and it has the words]

I cannot read. But Jack can read, 

he says: first left, second right, third right, fourth left. 

[to illustrator: a worried look on Jack’s face]

“But… I do not know my left from my right”, Jack said. “What do we do?”

HOW WILL WE GO HOME! 

[to illustrator: both kids are anxious]

We are now scared. 

“What do we do?”

[to illustrator: Liam thinks for a minute]

I know my left.  I told Jack.

Grandma told me I can make the letter L with my left hand fingers. Like this.

[to illustrator: Liam is making an L shape with his left hand thumb and index fingers]

I can count too.

Let’s go home, Jack. 

“First left”, Jack reads again.

1… Here we go left. 

[to illustrator: Liam is making an L shape and they go to the left, ALWAYS WITH THE SAME HAND AND WHEN ITS NOT LEFT, WE SEE HOW HE GOES OPPOSITE DIRECTION.]

“Now, second right”, Jack says.

1… 2... Here we go second, right!

“Third right” Jack says.

1… 2... 3...  here we go third right.

“Lastly, fourth left” Jack announces.

1… 2... 3... 4... and here is fourth left to our home.

Hooray! 

“Hi mom!”, Jack says, “guess what happened!”

“What happened?” Mom asks.

“Liam walked us home today, when I did not know my left from my right”

“But you know your left from you right!”

Jack!

[to illustrator: Liam is making a funny look at Jack, who acts as if he is busted]

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

To show young children a way to tell their right and left hands.

Share your suggested book title

Left. Right. Right. Left.

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Hi, I am Liam. L I A M. I can spell my name and it starts with the letter L. And this is my brother Jack. I can spell his name and it starts with the letter J. Today, I am very excited. I will walk back home with Jack! Home is a few blocks away. Dad drew the directions for us on a paper. Jack will read them for us. I cannot read. But Jack can read, he says: first left, second right, third right, fourth left. “But… I do not know my left from my right”, Jack said. “What do we do?” HOW WILL WE GO HOME! We are now scared. “What do we do?” Grandma told me I can make the letter L with my left hand fingers. Like this. [to illustrator: Liam is making an L shape with his left hand thumb and index fingers] I can count too. Let’s go home, Jack. “First left”, Jack reads again. 1… Here we go left. “Now, second right”, Jack says. 1… 2... Here we go second, right! “Third right” Jack says. 1… 2… 3… Here we go third right. “Lastly, fourth left” Jack announces. 1… 2... 3... 4... and here is fourth left to our home. Hooray! “Hi mom!”, Jack says, “guess what happened!” “What happened?” Mom asks. “Liam walked us home today, when I did not know my left from my right” “But you know your left from you right!” Jack!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Toddlers enjoy sensory experiences, activities, songs, or book that would allow them to link words to actions, actions they could repeat and use in their communications. They also understand more words than they speak and could towards their third year build simple sentences, count, and can by then show their emotions. Our manuscript builds on these developmental milestones, it repeats words (tier 1 informed), counts up to 4, brings the story to life by making the letter L with the left hands and hence mark it. The book allows itself as a tool for caregivers to interact with their children after reading the book by asking the child to tell their left and right hands, show the way around on a map with simple words, or call out some of the street landmarks showing in the pictures. The story happens in a family setting where the father, grandmother, the older brother, and the mother are involved in the youngest boy's life. We’ve reviewed with a couple of caregivers for feedback

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I read about Philadelphia for this project, looked at the map to see the urban planning and parks, checked safety reviews of the city to ensure thay children walking back home is safe, and researched popular names in Philadelphia to ensure relevance.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I looked at the map of Philadelphia to see the planning of roads and parks, and if it would be safe for children to walk back from a park, the planning is simple and linear.. there are many parks that would require only a couple of hundred meters walk. Also, the directions indicated in the story make the boys go in a semi circle, so they do not walk too far from the park.

Location: Country

Jordan

Location: City

Amman

Tell us more about you / your team

We are Ayah and Salma, an aunt and her niece. Ayah works at the Children's Museum Jordan and writes for children. All of her work revolves about designing content (science, arts, and literature) for children ages 1 to 12, and training the team to deliver this content and engage the children in enjoyable learning experiences. Salma is a 10th grader, who loves reading and literature. She also plays basketball pro for girls under 16.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

We’d like the illustrations to use textures, and fully vividly colored pages . We do not recommend computer generated illustrations as they will make the book too flat. We have left notes for the illustrators, as many details could help the caregiver give the book a second purpose like: reflecting diversity in the park top view of the city with labeled places for the caregiver to ask their child for directions textured pages for the routes, objects Pop-up book is also a nice for this book

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Sham, 2017. La Shai La Shai (nothing, nothing), 2017. Ghayma (a cloud), 2017. Kam howa rae' (how lovely), 2017. Wahsh qumama (trash monster), 2018.

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Facebook

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

13 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Nice story. However, why 9 and 4 years? The directions will be interactive.
Good luck

Photo of Ayah Younis
Team

Thank you :) 4 so he can walk and interact independently, and 9 so he is old enough to be in the park alone and take care after his younger. What do you think?

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Cool acknowledged.

Photo of Ayah Younis
Team

Thank you :)

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Ayah, welcome.
Have you checked my stories?

Photo of Ayah Younis
Team

yes, I liked the daylight delight :) Good luck to us all :)

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Thanks Ayah. Good luck to you as well

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