Du Iz Tak?

Du Iz Tak? 11 min. Weston Woods. 2018. $59.95. ISBN 9781338242997.
OrangeReviewStarPreS-Gr 5—A small community of insects discover something new in their midst. They speak an invented language as they explore a growing object they've never seen before. "Du iz tak?!" one of them asks (meaning, "What is that?!"), thinking it is a big tree. When it blossoms into a sturdy flower, the industrious bugs build a fort together that they all enjoy. Nine different narrators—including kids—whistle, hum, and even sing an original song. Background music changes fittingly along with the scenes, with jarring piano discord as a spider covers the fort with a sticky web. The tale is imaginatively animated as a hilarious assortment of bugs walk, climb, and slide. (One plays the violin while tapping its tiny foot to the beat.) The passing of the seasons is marked as the dying flower becomes part of the soil and the wind howls with the first snow. The story line comes full circle when another plant pops up in the spring. Animator/director Galen Fott has deftly adapted Carson Ellis's Caldecott Honor picture book, infusing it with meaning and conveying the joy of discovery. Includes pre- and postviewing questions and activities.
VERDICT This multilayered and beautifully and thoughtfully designed adaptation encourages inference, creativity, and teamwork and will delight audiences of all ages.

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