Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Library Find - Uh-Oh by Rachel Isadora

It's especially wonderful to me when Sprout pulls a book off the library shelves that truly delights him. As a toddler, most of his choices are completely random and don't even make it home with us -- not that there aren't some fine books in there, but they are usually selections that are too long or complex for a two year old to have patience with.

That's not the case with Uh-Oh by Rachel Isadora. Sprout originally ran across this a couple of months ago, and since then we've had it checked it pretty much constantly. This is actually the second of Isadora's titles we've tried out, having checked out her version of The Twelve Days of Christmas this past holiday season (and if you haven't seen that one yet, I'd highly recommend it -- I suspect it's one that will become part of our family Christmas traditions due to its vibrant color palette and spirited African interpretation of the familiar song). I can't wait to read more of her books with Sprout, in particular her interpretations of familiar fairy tales, which feature her stunning artwork, a feast for the eyes of parent and child.

Uh-Oh is the perfect toddler read-aloud, in part because of its near wordlessness. The little boy at the center of the story is a typical two- to three-year-old, whose best intentions often result in messy outcomes. "Clean clothes" reads one spread, and on the next page, a blizzard of clothing items is captioned "Uh-Oh". "Ice cream" shows our hero sharing a friend's cone, then "Uh-oh", the cone is spilled on the ground. You get the drift. The conceit is just about as simple as it gets, yet never fails to delight Sprout, who gleefully points out the mistake, accident or mess in question and shouts "Uh-oh!". We also like to talk about what might have happened in the picture -- maybe the messy toybox came about because the little boy was looking for his train, for example. Talking through the pictures like this helps Sprout make connections between story and images, one of the building blocks of literacy.

Uh-Oh couldn't be a simpler title, and yet has so much to offer: humor, expressive characters, charmingly comic set-ups and a multicultural emphasis to boot. Snap this one up!

Uh-Oh by Rachel Isadora, published by Harcourt
Source: Library
Ages 0-4

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