Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Scream Ice Cream: a Book of Wordles

At first I thought "wordles" must be a fabricated word for the sake of humor, but it's a real thing. A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differ in meaning. Wordles are a group of words that sound exactly the same as another group of totally different words. I scream/ice cream is easily the one that people are most familiar with, but it certainly isn't the funniest one in the book.

The first group of words is given with a terrific illustration by Serge Bloch. The reader is supposed to guess what an alternate meaning might be, before turning the page. The first couple are on the easy side (probably just to boost the readers' confidence) but they ramp up after that. Honestly, the obscurity is what makes the book so funny. I loved turning each page to see the answer and illustration. "Pants. Knees." becomes "Pant ... sneeze."

Rosenthal has laid the groundwork of the book by coming up with some really clever phrases, but I think it's Serge Bloch who adds the magic with his illustrations. Instead of showing reindeer placidly standing around, his are soaring across the sky, like a pack of geese flying south for the winter.The wordle with Snow White has a pack of dwarfs lined up behind her, all glowering at the wicked queen. This is like a puzzle and a picture book rolled up into one.

Review copy provided by Chronicle Books. 

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