Apples and Oranges: Going Bananas with Pairs

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Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
Hilarious drawings perfectly complement the theme…With comic efficiency, Pinto throws a dash of cold water on the mind-set of simple test answers and obvious questions.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Pinto (The Alphabet Room) plays at "going bananas" by giving unexpected answers to outwardly obvious questions. For example, after "How are an apple and an orange alike?" readers turn the page to discover an offbeat response: "They both don't wear glasses." Straightforward illustrations of such twosomes as a bird and a kite, a starfish and an octopus, or a spoon and a fork, each grouped on a beige background, continue the game by emphasizing what the objects have in common. Each answer, however, continues to take the unexpected direction. Pinto's ink-and-watercolor sketches give full play to what "they both don't" do-e.g., they picture a mug and a teacup riding in the rodeo or trousers and underpants as hats for two ladies in a Parisian restaurant (the Eiffel tower can be glimpsed from a window). As in untutored art, Pinto's detailed scenarios stint on perspective and primarily underscore punch lines. An open-ended conclusion ("How are you and I alike?/ We both don't...") transfers the author's unpredictable comedy into the audience's hands, inviting a different outcome with every reading. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Michael Chabin
I remember telling my daughter that I hoped we would have "leaves and sticks for supper because they're my favorite thing!" At two, she would frown and say "No, Daddy! Leaves and sticks are terrible for supper." By the time she was three, she would take the joke further with "I hope it's dirt!" Kids have a gift for contradiction (it reaches the level of genius in their teens), and they love nonsense. That is why the younger they are, the better they will like the "logic" that an apple and an orange are alike because "[t]hey both don't wear glasses." or that a starfish and an octopus are alike because "[t]hey both don't knit." What is neat about this book—besides the wonderful idea, engaging images, funny contradictions and appealing art—is that the notion of similarity, so overdone in concept books, is built in. It is obvious to the point of tedium why an apple and an orange are similar. The humor and creativity lie in the silliness of the difference. One could take a political lesson from the pages of this simple book. It seems a very effective satire of all the years of divisive national politics in which leaders have diligently focused attention on what they do not have in common. Unfortunately, only children seem to see such nonsense for what it is. Reviewer: Michael Chabin
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4
Pinto pairs two objects with obvious similarities and poses the question, "How are [these items] alike?" When the page is turned, however, the answer is anything but obvious. For example, "How are a cupcake and an ice-cream cone alike?" is answered by, "They both don't scuba dive." The book would work best read aloud to a group of children who might first make the usual connections and then begin to do their own outside-the-box thinking. The gouache, watercolor, and ink illustrations have clean but soft lines, a slightly retro look, and charming flashes of humor-a spoon and a fork cavort in tutus and an ice skate and a sled sport berets and play jazz. Pinto's last question, "How are you and I alike?" is left open-ended and could inspire children to make their own unusual comparisons and illustrate them as well. This is a fine choice with numerous creative possibilities that will extend its use beyond a single reading.
—Grace OliffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599902357
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

SARA PINTO is the author/illustrator of The Alphabet Room, Clockwise, and the illustrator of Rozanne Gold’s Kids Cook 1-2-3. She and her family live in Vermont and Glasgow, Scotland.

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