In this treat for young readers (or adults learning to read), the two-page stories mix two voices: purple typeface on the left for one voice, red on the right for the other—and blue for the two voices together. Short words, energetic rhythms and carefully crafted rhymes bounce the stories along, with cartoonlike illustrations to add humor. This clever, attractive book promises to become a staple for beginning readers.
John Ciardi's collection of 35 poems with drawings by Edward Gorey is perhaps the best known book with this title (published in 1962); it, too, used the concept of dividing a poem on the page, designed for a more experienced reader to read with a child. Hoberman (One of Each) here creates a collection of 12 rhyming and heavily repetitious dialogues, each one ending with the emphasis on reading together (e.g., "I'll read to you. You'll read to me"; "We'll read together,/ You and I"). In "The Dime," a pig discovers that the coin he found may actually be the lost money of his rabbit friend. A discussion ensues: "Shall we divide the dime in two?"/ "A nickel each? It's up to you."/ Or shall we buy/ One thing to share?"/ "That would be fun, that would fair." Another playful poem, "The Bear," takes on an incredulous tone; when a boy's little brother tells a bear he can spend the night as long as he does not snore, the boy's friend replies, "Your little brother/ Sounds quite brave/ To tell a bear/ How to behave." But while the mood is light, the text never really takes flight. In addition to similar phrases, the rhyme scan is nearly identical in all of the poems; the tone becomes monotonous. However, each of Emberley's (Happy Birth Day!) spot illustrations is unique and, in total, the artwork creates relationships among the characters. Working in watercolor, pen and pastel, he endows his characters with an edgy expressiveness that leaps off the page. Ages 4-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This book contains many different short stories that two people can read together. All containing positive lessons, each story has at least two characters that face a problem or experience an adventure. For example, in "The Dime," the pig finds a dime, but his friend the cat feels that the money belongs to him. Instead of the characters keeping the money and destroying their friendship, they decide to purchase a book and take turns reading the book to one another. Another story that has a positive lesson is "I Hate My Hat." The characters in the story are raccoons, and one raccoon continually says, "I hate my hat." The other raccoon says that "hate" is not a nice word to say and compliments his friend for wearing the hat, so that no one needs to speak the word "hate" at all. This book also possesses characteristics of a play because the text offers a dual speaking part. One reader reads the purple colored sentences, the other reads the pink colored sentences and both readers read the blue sentences together. The color-coding also teaches the concept of following directions. Children of all ages need to know how to follow directions because they will encounter many areas in their lives that will require them to follow directions, both at school and at home. 2001, Little Brown and Company, Ages 4 to 8.
PreS-Gr 2-A delightful choreography of rhythm, rhyme, and repetition that begs to be read aloud in tandem by children and adults, or by any pairing of beginning readers. The gist of the book is that reading aloud and listening as others read aloud is an integral part of early literacy. "Here's a book/With something new-/You read to me!/I'll read to you!" instructs a passage in the introduction. Thirteen two-page humorous "stories" feature enduring childhood subjects like animals, play, likes and dislikes, friends, and family. All are liberally decorated with Emberley's witty, exuberant, pastel-colored cartoon illustrations. Brief verses appear on the left, right, or center of each page and are printed in three different colors to signal whose turn it is to read (or when it's time to read together). Simple yet varied vocabulary is used throughout. All of the selections conclude with a twist on the "you read to me/I'll read to you" refrain. The combination of short, rhythmic stories and cheerful art is a winning one, making this title a valuable addition to picture-book collections.-Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Playful rhymes celebrate the sheer joy of reading in this exuberant read-aloud collection. Designed for two readers, the poems are laid out with verses in place-specific positions and printed in a trio of colors to indicate the different voices; purple on the left, pink on the right, and the blue sections in the center indicating that the text should be read in unison. Hoberman (It's Simple, Said Simon, 2001, etc.) draws upon such universally kid-pleasing themes as frolicking in the snow and frisky puppies, liberally infusing them with copious amounts of silliness. The result: rambunctious poems to tickle funny bones. Whatever the theme, each poem concludes with the rousing chorus, "You read to me. / I'll read to you." Hoberman's verses draw the readers into a delightful verbal sparring match of dueling rhymes. The humorous bandying keeps the laughs coming while the actual vocabulary is manageable for fledgling readers. The poems run the gamut from a pair of dogs scolding a cat for chasing mice to the wonderfully insouciant poem, "Hop and Skip." Emberley's pen-and-watercolor illustrations capture the liveliness of the poems; small vignettes revel in the absurdities, beckoning readers to join in and relish the fun. In "The Two Mice," Hoberman sums up the philosophy of the collection quite nicely. "Two readers reading / Make a game. / It's twice as nice / When there are two." And what fun this is for readers and listeners alike. (Picture book. 6-8)