Review: Oh No! by Candace Fleming

oh no

Oh No! by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

A virtuoso picture book by two masters, this is bound to be a new favorite for toddler and preschool story times.  The story begins with Frog falling into a deep hole.  Oh no!  Mouse came along and tried reaching down but she fell in too.  Oh no!  Loris slowly came down from her tree to help, but an allergy made her sneeze and you guessed it, she fell in too.  Oh no!  Sun Bear tried to help, Monkey swung by and fell in, and then Tiger reveals himself fully above.  Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed him lurking from the very end papers right on through.  He’s ready to pounce on this hole full of juicy animals.  But wait!  There’s one more animal headed for the hole!  Oh yes! 

Fleming has written such a simple and yet jaunty text here.  It reads aloud so well, so vividly that there is no other way to read this book.  The text doesn’t rhyme, instead it is filled with so much repetition and rhythm.  There is the chorus of “Oh no!” that meets each animal as they tumble into the hole.  But there are also words that repeat as each animal is introduced. 

Rohmann did the illustrations as relief prints.  They have bold lines, lithe animals, and lots of action.  They also have that wonderful texture of prints that make them such a great choice for children’s books.  The illustrations lift this book even higher.

Get your hands on this for your programs.  I guarantee it will be part of your regular story rotation.  It’s also a great pick for children’s reader theater.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

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