“From word to word
they find their way,
Lillian, Tilly and William J.
They pack some books
and kitty chews.
They choose a spot
They spot some ewes.”
I loved this very clever book poem that plays on homophone pairs throughout the adventure of the three cute cats. My kids were just as amused by Michael Hall’s bright silly illustrations than by his wordplay. Cat Tale would be an excellent book to go along with a study of homophones. I love that it is a way of teaching in a completely playful way. It’s also just a fun book for any age, my youngest thought it was super silly even though she didn’t get half of the jokes.
We have several of the Basher science books. They are a big hit with my oldest (and have been known to be pulled off the shelf and read by visiting friends of his). Ruth also will pull the books off the shelf and look at them. I’m guessing for the whimsical Japanese style cartoons since I somehow doubt she is actually reading about the periodic table. I didn’t know that author Simon Basher, a graphic designer and illustrator, had also done a series of preschool books (colors, shapes, time, opposites) until I saw his 123 book on the new books shelf at the library. This is a traditional counting book with numbers from 1-20. The numbers are in large bold characters on one page with an illustration on the other. What makes it stand out is the incredibly silly illustrations. There are jelly bean gobbling penguins, skateboarding ladybugs and Hula-Hooping cows. Ruth got a big kick out of this one both for the illustrations and because she is loving counting books right now.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the author of several clever books we have enjoyed (Chopsticks and This Plus That). Similar to This Plus That, Wumbers plays with numbers in a unique way. In this book, numbers and words are cominbed together to produce wumbers. Think enligh10ment. Or in10se. Or 4ever. It’s clever but lacks something. I think it would have been better with a story of some kind so it wasn’t just pages of clever word fun. It also may be better as a silent read. The word/number puzzles are fun to figure out but fall flat when read-aloud. The only one of my three who could have read this alone succesfully was John and he wasn’t that interested, even though he loves both math and reading.
Wumbers and Cat Tale have both been nominated for a Cybils award in the Fiction Picture Book category.