BEST OF

I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, & Taste It, Too!)

illus. by author. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399160493.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 1—Isadora explores common sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures from a preschooler's perspective in this winsome sensory tour. Combining short, declarative sentences with colorful ink and watercolor vignettes, the cheerful spreads showcase a cast of diverse, expressive kids in their everyday worlds. A final page, featuring the titular pickle, cleverly ties everything together into a delicious whole and invites repeated sharing.
Isadora's book about the five senses is aimed perfectly at another sense--kids' sense of humor. Separate sections visit each sense in double-page spreads containing small vignettes of children exploring their world, indoors and out. Frequent statements about what the child doesn't sense add levity: "I see the turtle's shell but I don't see the turtle." Delicate illustrations nicely elicit a young child's point of view.
Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title, Isadora's book about the five senses is aimed perfectly at another sense -- kids' sense of humor. Separate sections, beginning with sound and ending with taste, visit each sense in double-page spreads that contain small vignettes of children exploring their world, both indoors and out. Brief sentences describe what each child hears, smells, sees, touches, or tastes. Frequent statements about what the child doesn't sense add levity: "I see the turtle's shell but I don't see the turtle"; "I don't smell. I have a cold." Interjections throughout, printed in italics, add read-aloud pleasure: "I touch my brother's foot. Hee-hee. / I don't touch my boo-boo. Ouch! / I don't touch the plug. No-no!" Certain items are revisited in different sections: "I don't hear the snow falling...I see the snow. I don't see my mitten." Delicate ink and watercolor illustrations on white backgrounds nicely elicit a young child's point of view, such as when a girl peering over a counter can just barely see the pizza she smells. The final page wraps things up by going back to the titular pickle in all its sensory glory: "I taste the pickle. / It's sour," and so on until "I hear the pickle...CRUNCH!" Be sure to have a jar of baby dills on hand for this one. jennifer m. brabander

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