This was an exciting week for children's literature with so many major award winners announced. I didn't pick the winners, but my choices were among the honor books, so I don't feel too bad. If you didn't see the award list, Kathy Temean posted a succinct compilation.
I was especially excited to see that Bryan Collier's Illustrations for Knock, Knock got the nod for Coretta Scott King illustration.
Now on to this week's selection for review--
This book didn't win any awards.
Most books don't.
But I chuckled all the way through, and sometimes that's the kind of book you're looking for to lighten the mood in these long dark cold winter days.
Author/Illustrator: Jef Czekaj
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 2012
Theme: Wordplay, Read aloud
Opening: Psst. I have a secret.
Synopsis: An earnest looking pig shares his secret with a nearby rooster and tells him to pass it on. What's the pig's secret? Oink. Of course, since roosters don't say "oink" he muddles the message and it gets passed again and again with similar results that tickled my funny bone. The jacket flap calls this a "barnyard game of telephone." I remember it as whisper down the lane. Either way, it's an evergreen kid pleaser.
Why I liked this book: After the first spread or two, there isn't much tension in whether or not the message will be passed correctly. It's clear that it won't be. The fun is in guessing how the words will be jumbled. It makes for a hilarious read aloud guessing game. And look at the vibrant colors in the illustrations! Full-bleed, edge to edge happiness.
Activities/Resources: This is probably obvious--but play "the telephone game" yourselves. The larger the group, the more fun it will be! Check out the book trailer for Oink-A-Doodle-Moo. Visit a barnyard/farm/zoo and practice animal sounds. Personally, I like to caw at crows and howl at full moons (you can blame the huskies down the street that "taught" me for the second one). Finally, read more of Mr. Czekaj's books [Cat Secrets (2011) breaks the fourth wall and "talks to" the reader.]
This review is part of Perfect Picture Book Friday. On her blog, Susanna Leonard Hill keeps an ever-growing list of books that have been reviewed, with all the links. Thank you, Susanna!
Thanks for stopping by. What are you doing to keep warm this winter? (Or cool, for my friends in the Southern hemisphere!)