Poet Williams interprets the concept of opposites in a clever, rhyming book celebrating the outdoors.
Children revel in opposites as they jump in a pond, enjoy a picnic or run with a kite, all with a rollicking band of animals in tow. Williams contrasts everything from actions (kids “stop” under a tree to wait out a storm, while two girls “go!” to run away from it) to emotions (“I can be happy, or I can be sad”) and more complex concepts like “high” (a girl swings in a tree) and “low” (a boy and a girl crawl through bushes). Author and illustrator also create a delightful visual rhythm between text and pictures as one page eases into the next. “I can whisper,” says one girl to another as they spy a buck in the distance; its opposite appears with the page turn: “or I can… / SHOUT!” scream a boy and girl as they sprint from a snorting bull. Oldfield’s use of bright and sunny colors complements the multiethnic cast, drawing in the most diverse of readers. Sprawled across double-page spreads, her cheery illustrations adeptly showcase both a child’s delight at being licked by a dog and the vibrant yellows of a sunflower’s petals. (An enclosed CD with the text performed by the Flannery Brothers was not available for review.)
An ebullient book with catchy, rhyming text that’s fun to read again and again at home, in the classroom or under a tree. (Picture book. 2-6)