Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“Hector Wants to Play” … A 5-Star Book that Even Children Who Cannot Yet Read Will Soon Begin to ‘Read’ Along With You!


Sandy Wardman’s, “Hector Wants to Play”, is the Ideal Story to Read to a Young Child or Have a Pre-School Child Pretend to Read to You!!

Sandy Wardman
8 ½” x 11” -- Full color
Illustrated by Jeff West
Vesuvius Press, 2011
Hector is written in rhyme.
So Children learn the words in no time.
They soon pretend to be reading along
As learning becomes as easy as singing a song.
Long before there was writing, most people learned by listening to poems in rhyme. This is still as strong a way to learn today as it was in Homer’s day.  
It’s a humbling thing to help a child learn. It’s a joy to feel the pleasure of a child experiencing something magical for the first time. “Hector Wants to Play” is one of those rare books that can reward you and the child you love with such experiences.
Hector is a monster…a Gila monster…with a kind heart…who just wants to play…but the other desert creatures fear even his very name: Gila Monster. Even the famous Ugly Duckling didn’t face such a problem. Ugly was always beautiful. Not Hector.
Why play with a monster? Won’t he eat you?
But then the ‘monster’ saves the other animals from danger.
Gila ugly becomes beautiful in the eyes of the other desert creatures. The Ugly Duckling was always beautiful. Hector earned his beauty with his courageous heart and welcoming spirit.
 “Hector Wants to Play” is a moral, character building story, children will love and adults will love reading to children. Adults will also appreciate the exceptional artwork. The artist is world class. An Emmy winner. A retired genius from the Disney organization.
"Hector Wants to Play” is a great way to inspire an early love for the Southwest. At the end of the book there is a nature lesson on the animals mentioned in the story. This is very educational.
Sandy Wardman and young fan Taite
I asked the author why a book, with so many full color illustrations, was priced at only $6.95.  So more people can buy it.”  Indeed, the author lives in the Southwest and loves the Southwest.  You can get the book direct from the author’s website.
I loved reading this book for the story, the illustrations and the ease of reading it out loud. “Hector Wants to Play has the five features I look for most when buying a book which is designed to be read to young children.  
The Five Essential Things I Look For When Buying a Book to be Read to Young Children:
1) It has to be written well enough to hold my interest. “Hector Wants to Play” is that well written. I wanted to know how the story was going to end just as much as any child. 
2) I want the illustrations to have facial expressions that give the characters personality. “Hector Wants to Play” has these and they are as well drawn as any I’ve ever seen. You can almost 'read' the back stories into the characters from their expressions alone. Marvelous.
3) the text has to be easily understandable by the child. This is very hard to do. I’ve read many children’s books where adult concepts slipped in. This book is ideal for children in both concepts and expression. The type is centered on the page which makes you want to read it as the poetry it is. The words just flow with ease when reading it out loud.
4) if characters are mentioned in the copy, then I want those same characters to be illustrated in the picture – if pictures are central to the value of the book. In this book every illustration was perfect. It's fun to ask the child to find the characters mentioned in the story within the current illustration.
5) I like the story to teach a moral lesson. It does not have to be a religious message. “Hector Wants to Play” is like a Native American folktale of the coyote variety of which there are many. However in this book, the Gila Monster is not the danger that he is usually portrayed in folklore. This book also has an interesting twist. Adults will enjoy the writing along with the children.
A book that’s fun to read.
All and all, “Hector Wants to Play” is a 5-Star book from the point of view of the adult reader and also from the point of view of the young child listener. The illustrations are very much like Disney creations. Many are of full page size. So you can read the text and ask the child to point out the different animals as mentioned in the story that you have just read. This makes reading the story more fun for both parties.  Because the story is in rhyme, many children learn the words and read along out loud when the story is read again. And this is a story with so much richness, both young and old will want to 'hear' it again.
“Hector Wants to Play” … A 5-Star Book that Even Children Who Cannot Yet Read Will Soon Begin to ‘Read’ Along With You!



  1. Thanks Vince for the great review of Hector. These books were really fun to write. I'm glad you enjoy them.

  2. Hi Sandra:

    I like them all. I'm not sure the one I like best but it could be "Percival" because it is so much more complex than "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". I'm working on that one right now. I love the ending.