Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell

Guess Who Haiku by Deanna Caswell

Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea (InfoSoup)

Haiku poetry is turned into a guessing game in this delightful picture book. One animal after another is described in haiku format and then the reader is asked to guess what animal it is. The answer is revealed with a turn of the page. This simple idea is engaging for youngsters learning about poetry and also works as a more basic picture book for younger listeners. It is that ease of use that makes this book so engaging for various age levels.

Caswell’s haiku are exceptional in the way they offer clues that children can understand and yet conform to the strict haiku format rules. They also read as haiku and real poems, each one working as a stand-alone haiku as well as a clue in the game of the book. This takes real skill, particularly since it looks so very effortless on the page.

Shea’s illustrations are loud, dynamic and funny. From the almost round bumblebee and the grinning flower to the googly-eyed frog , they are simple and also capture the essence of the animal they are depicting. They are filled with energy and life, making the book all the more fun.

This is the ideal book to introduce children to haiku since it makes the experience completely engaging and game-like. Appropriate for ages 3-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Abrams.



Review: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea

do you know which ones will grow

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter

This interactive and engaging book will have children eagerly answering the questions inside.  The book is all about whether something is alive or not, whether it will grow or not.  Told in rhyming sets of questions, the final rhyme and answer is hidden beneath another flip-out page that makes it into a guessing game for the rhyme.  So in the first pages, “If a ducking grows and becomes a duck, can a car grow and become…”  Turn the page and you find “a truck?”  The flaps also have die cut holes in them that add to the appeal.  It’s a game and a book that will intrigue and fascinate young readers.

A large part of the appeal of this book is the rhyming couplets that create the guessing game.  Pairing living creatures and inanimate objects make for an appealing educational book.  Adding the rhyming guessing game takes it to another level.  The rhymes have a great humor to them, and will have children giggling at the thought that a stool could grow into a a chair or a sweater into a coat.

Slaughter’s illustrations are bright and graphic.  Using bold color combinations and strong lines, the cut-paper illustrations are very effective.  They have an colorful and inviting tone that is modern and striking.

Ideal for classroom use or in any library, this book should be enjoyed by many children.  The flap structure is large and sturdy, meaning it will work well for public or school libraries.  This book tackles a subject I haven’t seen in many picture books too, adding to the appeal. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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Book Review: I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs


I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs

Children adore books with holes to peek through.  In this book, the frog’s eye on the cover is actually a hole that carries through the book, with the background changing as the page is turned.  The entire book is an I-Spy game where a clue is given and then you can see just a bit of the next page.  My favorite aspect is that as you turn the page, you see the next creature’s eye looking at you.  The book incorporates game play, colors, and logic with great results. 

Gibbs has a real sense of style with this book.  His illustrations are big and bold, the animals bursting off of the pages with the bright colors and the large size.  While the illustrations are large, the lines stay delicate and filled with swirls. 

This is one book that will fly off of library shelves as soon as children spy it with their little eyes.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Everyday Reading.