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FIVE FOR A LITTLE ONE by Chris Raschka Kirkus Star


by Chris Raschka & illustrated by Chris Raschka

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-84599-5
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

The little one is a rabbit child; the five are its senses, which it explores with ebullient confidence. “Smell is 1 / Noble nose, sniff and smell. / You do it well.” No one visually communicates concepts better than Raschka, and here he’s at his deceptively simple best. With illustrations reminiscent of Clare Newberry’s kittens and verse that recalls Margaret Wise Brown, this stands as a beautifully artful exploration of five of the youngest child’s earliest experiences. Placed against an all-white background, the rabbit, rendered in a striking combination of boldly inked lines and softly fuzzy solids, explores each sense in turn. Each sense is represented iconically, from tiny cars and barking dogs (and a barking car) to a giant berry pie for hearing and taste, respectively, and is explained by the gentle verse. Overkill in concept books is easy to do, but this wee gem is oh-so-restrained, offering up just a few illustrations for each sense. Because no little one occurs in a vacuum, this rabbit child has two parents, who appear at the end, reinforcing each sensory encounter and capping them off with love. Perfect. (Picture book. 2-5)