Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WORDPLAY by Ivan Brunetti Kirkus Star


by Ivan Brunetti ; illustrated by Ivan Brunetti

Pub Date: May 2nd, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-943145-17-1
Publisher: TOON Books & Graphics

Fun with compound words defines this early reader.

In a classroom headed by a white teacher, a diverse group of children with varied skin tones reviews a lesson about compound words. “Homework” is the first such word that a brown-skinned, black-haired girl named Annemarie identifies, and an accompanying illustration uses a thought balloon to show her imagining two anthropomorphic houses in hard hats doing roadwork with a jackhammer. Similar pictures and playful text follow in later spreads that depict Annemarie and other children in the classroom and playing on the playground while thinking of other compound words. The compound wordplay continues as Annemarie drives home with her father and then interacts with her family, all of whom share her coloring. A return to school has Annemarie turning in her homework, pleased with the many compound words she’s listed. Throughout, humorous digitally colored cartoon illustrations provide context clues for readers decoding the compound-word–rich text. The use of panels in the well-designed spreads makes it easy to follow the engaging, sequential illustrations.

Praiseworthy! (Early reader. 6-8)