Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PLAYGROUND DAY! by Jennifer Merz


by Jennifer Merz & illustrated by Jennifer Merz

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-81696-5
Publisher: Clarion

Merz offers a celebratory ode to the splendor of playgrounds, her verses taking readers on an exploration of a child’s imagination. Sprightly rhymes draw a tidy parallel between how the child’s play mirrors familiar activities of various animals: spraying in a water fountain like an elephant, swinging like a monkey, etc. Using a collage of cut and torn papers, Merz artfully creates full-color illustrations that offer readers intriguing panoramas filled with depth and texture. The format of the pages is such that the pictures and verses depict and describe the child’s play, with the following page showing the true critters in their natural habitats. Thus, a child in a play tunnel is compared to squirrels in their tree-trunk home. Appealing illustrations and lively verse make this tale particularly suited for rousing read-aloud sessions. In an era of elaborate schedules for the youngest of children, Merz’s simply executed tale is a reminder to return to the basics, encouraging readers to unfetter their imaginations and embrace the creative opportunities unstructured outdoor play affords. (Picture book. 3-6)