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First, a disclaimer: I count the author of this particular book as a friend, so you may of course (and probably rightly) suspect bias on my part. I promise you that I offer my honest opinions here on my blog, but since that opinion might be slanted a wee bit, I figured you should know.

The play on words in the title of the book will appeal to parents, and the rhymed triplets inside the book will appeal to children, who have to guess the animal - a feat made fairly easy by the charming illustrations by illustrator Renée Graef.

U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis has crafted an adorable read-aloud for young children, who will easily identify all of the animals inside the book, although they may require a bit of help from mom or dad on the first read-through to identify a dragonfly - and since there is both a moth and a butterfly inside the book, things could get a bit tricky, even for some parents. (In fact, that's the part that made me wish there'd been an answer key in the back of the book, perhaps with wee facts about the various animals depicted. The back cover of the book says to visit the publisher, where downloadable teachers' guides are available, but there isn't one there for this book. (Yet?) But I digress.)

The book begins with a charming illustration of a crab on the beach, and this beguiling triplet:

Waves can make the ocean roar.
Waves can scrape the ocean floor.

Look who's walking on the the shore.

Here's my inexpert photo, so you can get an idea of the soft palette and the whimsical sweetness of the illustrations. (Also, I happen to love the font they've used.)

The book ends with a picture that incorporates most of the animals inside the book, all of whom are peering at the book or looking straight at the reader. The art is accompanied by a clever riddle written using two rhymed couplets. On the one hand, it gives the answer, and on the other, another answer is possible.
My favorite animal indeed
is one who always loves to read.
Look at those eyes. Can you guess who
they're looking at? It must be YOU!

A wonderful addition to the library of any young reader with a penchant for animals and/or a fondness for solving riddles - and a most excellent read-aloud. My thanks to the folks at Sleeping Bear Press for sending me a copy.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
The book looks wonderful!
Aug. 8th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
It really is - perfect for the wee readers!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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