DU IZ TAK? by Carson Ellis
Kirkus Star


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review


Viewers follow the unfurling of an exotic woodland plant through the actions and invented language of beautifully coiffed and clothed insects.

The nonsense narrative is presented through dialogue. Because the conversations connect to specific phenomena and many words are repeated, decoding occurs fairly quickly. “Du iz tak?” (Probably: “What is that?”) “Ma ebadow unk plonk.” (Perhaps: “I think it’s a plant.”) The true meaning is anyone’s guess, but therein lies the fun. A large trim size and an abundance of white space on the opening pages send readers’ eyes to the delicate ink-and-gouache winged creatures and the small green shoot at the base of the spreads. Over several days and nights, the scene builds: a caterpillar forms a cocoon; a snail emerges from its well-appointed log to lend a “ribble” (“ladder”) so its friends can build a “furt” in the rising stalk; a cricket fiddles in the moonlight. Danger appears—a menacing spider that seems intent on caging the plant in its web until an enormous bird swoops in, altering the course of events. But there is glory too as the “gladdenboot” blooms and the encapsulated moth takes flight. This is certain to ignite readers’ interest and imaginings regarding their natural surroundings.

Following the minute changes as the pages turn is to watch growth, transformation, death, and rebirth presented as enthralling spectacle. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6530-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2016


ChildrenWILDWOOD IMPERIUM by Colin Meloy
by Colin Meloy
ChildrenUNDER WILDWOOD by Colin Meloy
by Colin Meloy
ChildrenWILDWOOD by Colin Meloy
by Colin Meloy
ChildrenDILLWEED'S REVENGE by Florence Parry Heide
by Florence Parry Heide


ChildrenWESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman
by Paul Fleischman
ChildrenPLANT THE TINY SEED by Christie Matheson
by Christie Matheson
ChildrenBEST FRINTS IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE by Antoinette Portis
by Antoinette Portis