Monday, January 19, 2009

Not All Animals are Blue

Beatrice Boutignon

The format used here makes for an unusual book, albeit a pretty interesting one. Initially I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but the response from our test group was unanimous. The kids absolutely loved it! Their response coupled with the fabulous illustrations completely won me over.

Each page (twenty pages total) has five animals pictured together with a unifying phrase, such as Five Monkeys Hanging Around. Directly opposite the photo page are five statements or comments, which describe each animal individually. Some of the statements are simplistic, while others require more thought. The reader's job? Why, to match each descriptive phrase to the animal it pertains to. And this is a very fun job, indeed! Here, give it a try with Five Friends Caught in the Rain:

Who hates to get wet?
He's blowing away!
Whose umbrella shines like the sun?
He likes to feel the raindrops on his face,
But he just like the puddles.

Subtitled A Big Book of Little Differences, this is an interactive book meant to spark discussion about colors, movement, attitude and accessories. At the turn of each page, the children in our group were scrutinizing the drawings, eagerly awaiting each statement to be read aloud. They loved examining the tiny details that set each animal apart from the group. In addition to being adorable, this book is also very clever, and certainly meets its goal of discussion through discovery. A sure winner!

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