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DEAR DEER by Gene Baretta


A Book of Homophones

by Gene Baretta & illustrated by Gene Baretta

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8104-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

In the tradition of Fred Gwynne’s A Chocolate Moose for Dinner (1976) comes this comic tale replete with homophones. Aunt Ant is writing a letter to an antlered friend (“Dear Deer . . . ”), describing her new life at the zoo, a place full of words that sound the same but have different meanings. From the moose who loves mousse, to the hoarse horse, the monkey who tells tales while hanging by his tail and the bee that had to flee and so flew from the flea that has the flu, each page is filled with creatures and actions that contain homophones. All of the paired words are in bold type, though nothing differentiates one homophone from another and at times more than one set appears on a page at once. Occasionally, the text feels a little forced, but overall the humor compensates, and youngsters will be tickled by the homophones and the brightly colored, appealing illustrations. Beware: Children will gain not only prowess in recognizing homophones but also the ability to produce bad puns! (Picture book. 4-7)