For most parents and educators, teaching a child how to read is a bit like helping them crack a secret code. For every word, the young reader needs to be able to recognize each letter, remember the sounds each letter makes, put the sounds together to pronounce the whole word, and understand the meaning of the word. Then, they need to be able to do that for whole sentences, whole paragraphs, and, eventually, whole books.

This is challenging enough, as it requires the use of several parts of the brain at once. Certainly, homophones—words that sound the same but have different meanings—don’t help the problem.

That’s why new author Victoria Hudson, an award-winning producer and mother of two boys, wrote Dear Mousse: Horseplay and Homophones. This engaging and educational book, targeting children ages four through eight, uses short rhyming stories to help kids understand homophones. The idea is to encourage young readers to play around with similar-sounding words and identify their different meanings in a fun and memorable manner. That way, they shouldn’t become overwhelmed or give up when they encounter these confusing terms while reading.

A setback Hudson experienced while teaching her son to read is what initially inspired the lessons within the book: “My younger son was already struggling with reading when we came across a homophone during story time one evening,” said Hudson. “It was a word he thought he already knew, but he realized it didn’t make sense in the context of the book. When he grew frustrated, I tried to distract him by coming up with a silly rhyme about a moose who loved mousse. He laughed at that, and Dear Mousse was born.”

Primary school educators are excited to use Hudson’s book in their classrooms as a tool to teach their students about homophones. First-grade teacher Ms. Robinson believes this new book’s playful blend of literacy and imagination will help young readers expand upon their vocabulary.

“This is the kind of educational twist kids need to understand homophones. This is sure to extend their use of language and give them an intro into a world of creative storytelling!” said Robinson.

Second-grade teacher Ms. Son is constantly looking for interesting books for her primary elementary school classroom that introduce new concepts to her students. She says Dear Mousse is exactly the kind of book she searches for.

“Finally, an adorably informative book about homophones is available to children, parents, and teachers! Filled with cute animal pictures, fun poems, and a useful glossary, this book will surely grab the attention of kids and adults alike for fun or for instructional purposes,” said Son.

In Dear Mousse: Horseplay and Homophones, readers will meet a variety of characters, including a moose who loves chocolate mousse, a horse who’s hoarse, and a dog who mistakes flower for flour with predictably disastrous results!

“The English language is certainly complicated, but learning how to express oneself is a powerful tool. I want kids to have fun with it and to love writing as much as I do!” said Hudson.

Whether you’re an elementary school teacher, a parent of a young child, or simply someone who loves wordplay, this clever book is the one for you. Purchase your copy now on Amazon.

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