Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park

Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt (InfoSoup)

This picture book is a wonderful piece of word play. On each page, animals act out the version of their names as verbs. Quails quail in fear. Fish fish with lines and hooks trying to catch other fish. Bats swing bats at baseballs. Slugs wear boxing gloves and try to slug one another. The book goes on and on, each one funnier than the last. The book nicely offers the definition of the verb because some of them can be unusual for young readers. The book ends appropriately with kids kidding.

Park’s writing is simplicity itself, just the two words next to each other, noun and verb and then the definition of the verb. She also offers a chart of the words at the back of the book that explains the origins of both the nouns and verbs so young readers interested in language can explore the words more deeply.

The illustrations by Reinhardt are so important to this book, allowing young readers to immediately understand what is happening even in the more esoteric words. She makes them all work clearly and well, even quailing, craning and badgering. It’s a very impressive feat and one that makes this book full of appeal.

Grand wordplay, this book offers a fun look at word pairs. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.