THE QUESTION SONG by Kaethe Zemach


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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The daughter and granddaughter of artists offers a very agreeable rhymed verse with a large comfort quotient. Each spread begins with a repeated line about a common domestic tragedy: “My juice is spilling on the floor! What are we going to do?” “I can’t find my bunny! What are we going to do?” A couplet responds, “We’ll pick up the cup / and wipe the floor. / Then start again and / pour you some more!” and each ends with “That’s what we will do!” Zemach uses an unusual 19th-century painting technique involving stencils, transfers, oil paint, and velvet; the result is soft and expressive edges, lively colors, and charming use of pattern. The couplet sits inside a circular framed image on the left side of each spread and on the right a rectangle frames the response and two or three images that resolve the problem. The parents have strawberry-blonde and fuzzy dark hair; the brother and sister combine these traits. Families will make up their own music (and their own mishaps) to continue this rollicking tale of cleanup and comfort. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-316-66601-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2003


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