The Barnes & Noble Review Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole, the author/illustrator team who brought us Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale, Some Smug Slug and Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke, return with a hilarious new alliterative picture book. The Wacky Wedding is more than an entertaining tale about an ant wedding at which everything goes wrong it's an interactive alphabet book that makes learning your ABC's fun!
"An army of ants attended a wedding, once on an April afternoon." And so begins this tale of two adoring ants who are about to get married. From "A" on the first page to "Z" on the last, the prose on each page is filled with words beginning with the same letter. The text is lively and the story quite fun. However, some of the language is rather sophisticated, and several words may be unfamiliar to younger readers (and may have to be defined by an adult who's reading along).
As preparations for the ants' wedding proceed, mishaps abound. First, the cleaner ants who "carted the colony's cake" drop it. Then, "a foolish fruit fly let[s] some fruit fall," and it almost flattens the groom. Worst of all, after the ceremony, the bride trips and falls into a puddle. When a string of soldier ants fails to save her, she's in danger of drowning...until a valiant velvet ant swims to her rescue. Thus, the story ends happily, and "zillions of fireflies set ablaze the night sky as drowsily the ants zigzagged home toward their nests."
In addition to the alliterative use of a different letter on every page, each letter of the alphabet is hidden in the illustration,andthere is an object beginning with that letter placed somewhere on that page. This will ensure close scrutiny by kids as well as multiple readings.
The Wacky Wedding is a book that can be enjoyed again and again; new discoveries constantly abound.
From its colorful, comical pictures to its lyrical, laugh-out-loud story,
The Wacky Wedding is a great read-aloud and a great read-along. But no matter how it's shared with kids, it always means lots of interactive learning fun!
Reading level: Ages 4-7
A queen ant and her winged groom head for the altar in this buggy--though not particularly wacky--alphabet. The nuptials take place on the verdant and damp forest floor, the bride and groom thronged by a peaceable kingdom of butterflies, bees, birds and a mole. Alliterative sentences convey the plot; for the letter L, "a ladybug laughed. `They've loved each other since they were larvae.' " The wedding is not without incident, for the bride falls into a puddle at the letter Q: " `Quick!' squealed the quails. `Quiet down! Quit quivering and quaking and help the Queen.' " Fortunately, the letter-V velvet ant effects a rescue, and at the end of the alphabet and the eventful day, "Zebra swallowtails on their zithers strummed a lazy tune... as drowsily the ants zigzagged home." The team behind Dinorella makes a lively game of the volume. Edwards shows how a key letter may appear at the start of or within a word; Cole hides the specified letter, and an object beginning with that letter, in each image. Unfortunately, there is no key to the visual puzzles, which sometimes prove obscure due to the complex details. Attendance at this event isn't mandatory, but a good time may be had. Ages 4-7. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gr 1-3An alphabet tale of an elaborate ant wedding. As the guests, who range from army ants to zebra swallowtails, arrive and the festivities proceed, elegance soon gives way to slapstick. The wedding cake is dropped, the groom is knocked down by falling fruit, and the bride falls into a puddle and almost drowns. All ends happily as fireflies light up the night sky. The story line is lively and sometimes silly with lots of madcap antics and rich alliteration, such as Tearful treehoppers trembled on a twig. One particularly memorable line notes that the bride and groom have loved each other since they were larvae. The zestful, colorful, and dynamic artwork, done with colored pencil and acrylic, captures the spirit of the story. The pictures will catapult readers into an insects-eye view of the world, even if some of these bugs have rather unorthodox appearances (fire ants in firefighter outfits and army ants in camouflage). A letter is hidden in each illustration. Unfortunately, some of the text is difficult to read when it is printed on a dark-green background. Still, future entomologists with a sense of humor and lively imagination will want to join this zany celebration.Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Carpenter ants, drones, soldier ants, molesall play a part in Edwards's merry, alliterative alphabet book. As two ants prepare to tie the knot, they must contend with some unfortunate interruptionsa fruit fly drops some fruit on the groom, the cake gets dumped by some clumsy cleaner antsbut the wedding commences anyway until the bride takes a header into a puddle. A whirligig beetle comes to the rescue, and a honeymoon night is assured. Edwards brings a kind and good-natured aura to this book, which includes the line, "Lounging on a leaf, a ladybug laughed. `They've loved each other since they were larvae.'Ê" Cole includes funny characters in the mix, and adds some clever incidentals, such as the chain of ants transporting drops of orangeade from a discarded soda can to the wedding feast. (Picture book. 4-9)