DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE WILL GROW?
Susan A. Shea
Age Range: 4 - 8
Shea’s children’s-book debut is a clever, rhymed test of kids’ notions of living and nonliving things that's great for both lap and group sharing. “If you look around you’ll see, / Some things grow, like you and me… / Do you know which ones will grow? / Think, then answer yes or no.” What follows is a terrific interplay of rhyming questions and cunningly designed gatefold illustrations: “If a calf grows and becomes a cow, / can a shovel grow and become…/ a plow?” The left side pictures the cows, while the right-hand page shows a huge shovel and pail. A flip of the fold reveals the corner of the shovel becoming a part of a truck-mounted plow. Other rhymes include duck and truck, bear and chair, cat and hat, goat and coat, towel and owl, snake and cake, pig and rig, fox and clock and kangaroo and you. The final two pages summarize the answers, still keeping the rhythm and rhyme. Slaughter’s illustrations bring pop art to mind: vivid reds, blues, yellows and greens, few details, simple backgrounds and blocks of color. Many of the objects are cut-paper silhouettes against a painted background. Between its allure as an audience-participation read-aloud and its numerous classroom uses (living/nonliving, analogies, rhymes, spelling rules, baby animal names, creative thinking…) clear a space on the shelves for this one, even though it may never be there for long. (Picture book. 4-8)