Monday, February 21, 2005

Little Loon and Papa

Buzzeo, Toni. 2004. LITTLE LOON AND PAPA. Ill. by Margaret Spengler. New York: Dial Books. ISBN 0803729588 [Suggested Grade Levels K-3]

Papa Loon wants to give Little Loon diving lessons, but Little Loon is too scared. Papa tries to dip Little Loon beneath the surface of the water but that doesn’t work. Papa even shows Little Loon how to dive by going through the motions himself. In spite of Papa’s patience, Little Loon refused to even try and splashes away. On his own now, he encounters several noisy creatures that make him wish for Papa’s protection. He finally hears a noise that forces him to plunge under a log. He dives into the water just like Papa showed him. Not only does he master this difficult skill, but when he reemerges he is thrilled to see Papa who had been calling out to him.

Young readers will delight in the repetitive and rhythmic text. The contrast in the diminutive size of Little Loon and the wildlife he encounters is effective (e.g. “Little Loon spots great, bony legs and a wide antler rack…” and “Little Loon spots a great, shaggy face and a wide brown snout…”). Spengler’s bold pastels in rich hues of blue, green and brown are a beautiful complement to the text. Her expressive artwork is a treat! With every turn of the page it is easy to see how frantic Little Loon feels at not finding Papa. Children will identify with this story about the trepidation of trying something new. They will also be encouraged by Papa’s patience, guidance, and love for his little loon.

Children can discover facts about loons such as where they live, what they eat, and what habits they exhibit.
Children can trace and cut out pictures of loons. They can then choose a favorite action verb associated with Little Loon (e.g. “zigzags,” “squeezes,” “tucks,” “wiggles,” “waggles,” etc.) and copy it unto their picture. Finally they can display their pictures with verbs on a poster.

Other books about baby animals separated and reunited with their parents:
Love, Pamela. A LOON ALONE. ISBN 0892725710
Wood, A. J. THE LITTLE PENGUIN. ISBN 0525470239
Other book by Buzzeo that could be paired with this one:

By S. Zulema Silva Bewley

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