They Didn’t Use Their Heads was written and illustrated by Jo Ann Stover and published by JourneyForth (1990).

Attention parents, grandparents and teachers. This whimsical and clever book will captivate both the child and adult reader with its words of wisdom.

It suggests playfully many ways to use your head such as turning it, laying it down or covering it up. In a humorous way it shows what happens when you don’t use your head. However, if you are wise and a tiny bit clever, it offers, you can think with your head before you act.

The author takes familiar squabbles and difficulties that come from a child’s not thinking and then comes up with reasonable solutions. The solutions are understandable to any child such as, “you can be right without a fight,” or  “even when you’re small you can help.”

This book could lead to great discussions of other ways a brother and sister didn’t use their heads and what the results might be, as well as the remedies.

Repetition of the phrase, “They didn’t use their heads,” and the use of rhyme act as stepping stones drawing the listener into the book. The author’s decision to use of a variety of children’s names prompts the child reader to listen for his/her own name which contributes to making the book a page turner.

In this world of bright colors and “bling,” the book’s simple black- and-white illustrations add to the sound, sensible flavor of the writing and are anything but boring. The facial expressions go hand-in-hand with the text of the story.

I definitely give They Didn’t Use Their Heads high marks and recommend it for children ages five to eight.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is a widow and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.” She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.

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