SHOUT! SHOUT IT OUT!
Age Range: 2 - 6
In a similar vein to The Everything Book (2000), Fleming papers her pages with standard elements in preschool curricula and encourages kids to shout out what they know. Beginning with numbers, she moves on to letters and colors, presented as balloons. Names of common pets, farm animals and modes of transportation round out the text. Throughout it all, an amusing little mouse provides some comic relief and gives young children the opportunity to scour the illustrations to find him. One of the final pages presents all the letters, numbers and words on a single spread, allowing “mouse” to show off all that he knows. Labels in a simple type encourage children to make the connection between the pictures and the writing. Filled with vibrant colors and patterns, Fleming’s illustrations are peopled with a multicultural cast of rosy-cheeked, wide-eyed preschoolers with huge mouths open wide to shout. Created by pulp painting, which is a method of making paper by pouring colored fibers through stencils, here complemented by paper collage and a variety of drawing media, the artwork begs return examination. From the opening sentences to the mouse’s bow at the end, this has storytime written all over it: “Everybody loves to shout. So, if you know it, SHOUT it out! Ready. Set. GO!” (Picture book. 2-6)