Monday, October 24, 2005

Wild About Books

Sierra, Judy. WILD ABOUT BOOKS. Ill. by Marc Brown. New York: Knopf. ISBN 037582538X [Suggested Grade Levels Pre-K – 2]

In this lively and entertaining picture book, Judy Sierra tells the winding, rhyming and wonderful tale of a chance encounter between zoo animals and a librarian’s bookmobile that becomes a reading explosion of zoological proportions! Creatively combining a wide variety of animals with their fitting literary counterparts, Sierra’s wacky wit is at once accessible, educational and disarmingly funny. WILD ABOUT BOOKS is packed with memorable lines (“llamas read dramas while eating their llunches”) and ingenious turns of phrase (“Zoolitzer Prize”). As if that weren’t enough, classic Children’s illustrator Marc Brown provides a veritable pictorial fiesta, including not only the zoo’s many unusual inhabitants (such as lynxes and Tasmanian devils), but an unending string of sight gags and visual jokes.

This is a lively, entertaining and thoughtfully constructed book that will be a delight to children and adults alike. Sierra shows a deft mastery of rhyme and creative consideration of the varied possibilities latent in her subject matter. From the giraffe to the dung beetle, the lion to the zebra, the animals’ joy at their discovery of books is made infectious in this brilliantly composed romp through the wonderful world of reading. WILD ABOUT BOOKS deserves to find a place as an enduring classic of children’s literature. For parents, librarians, teachers and especially children, I can hardly think of a book I could recommend more highly this year. WILD ABOUT BOOKS doesn’t “make reading fun.” It celebrates the joy we often miss that reading brings. It motivates children to pick up a book and join in the fun and reminds those of us who have read for years why we fell in love with it in the first place. This book is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Seuss and I have no doubt he would be proud.

Have other zoo books and materials on hand to expand their knowledge base of animals mentioned in the book.

Other stories about reading:
Dr. Seuss. I CAN READ WITH MY EYES SHUT. ISBN 0394939123

By Melissa Neece

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