Ready to give the brain a work out? Decision-making muscles will be given a thorough going over in this thought-provoking, entertaining and unique read.
Life is full of decisions and for a boy like Oscar, a self-confessed mental gymnast, that means opportunity. How to have breakfast eggs? Carnivores or vegetarians? Museum or mosh pit? Cat or dog? History or science? City or country? Beach or pool? Questions and choices all need to be twisted and tumbled, turned this way and that, and explored in every possible way. Oscar has a special way of thinking but will it guide his school to victory at the Aussie School’s Public Speaking Competition…
Quirky, creative and proving that there are always two sides to a story, this fantastic book belongs in every classroom and is one that I would be using or taking inspiration from on a daily basis. Vibrantly illustrated and with prompts to stimulate - cat or dog always leads to heated debate - readers of all ages will easily engage and will be quickly weighing in with their own opinions.
We want children to be critical thinkers, to make informed choices and to effectively argue their case, and with Oscar as role model all of this and more can be achieved. Through various everyday scenarios, many of which children will have encountered themselves, readers are taught to assess the options, to weigh up pros and cons, to make a case for both sides, to deliberate and to ultimately come to a decision that is informed.
Children are often quick to come a decision, give them two choices and most will deliver a split second answer. And whilst this may be fine in a lot of instances, Oscar encourages the taking of time and the benefits of thinking more analytically when presented with even the most simplest of choices. The mental gymnast description is a brilliant phrase for even the youngest of children to latch onto and will help them understand how questions, decisions and so on need to be twisted and tumbled, flipped and flopped,
Teaching children the skills around thinking and decision-making is only one side of the story. The need to be open-minded, that a particular way of thinking may not be representative of everyone, to see things from another’s point of view and having to accept and value an answer or argument that may be different from a held view are all highlighted and can easily be explored further.
A clever introduction to critical thinking and the art of making informed choices that can only benefit the next generation.
Recommended for 4+.
With huge thanks to Harper Collins for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.