EXCUSE ME, I'M TRYING TO READ! by Mary Jo Amani

EXCUSE ME, I'M TRYING TO READ!

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

Curious animals continually disrupt a young African girl’s attempts to read.

But who would try to read while sitting in a crocodile’s mouth or lying on a rhino’s back?  And what if a dung beetle wants to join you? This series of silly situations is sure to appeal to those who enjoy the absurd. Sprayed by an elephant and squeezed by a snake, the girl never gets all the way through her book—the very same one that is in readers' hands. The patterned text and repetition of the title line make this both an engaging read-aloud and a good choice for an early reader. Eldridge’s double-page illustrations appear to have been computer generated using a variety of styles—line drawings, collage and watercolor texture—and savannah colors. Though rough, they are realistic enough to allow for animal identification. Unfortunately the “African ibis” is depicted with the body and straight beak of a stork. First published in 2011 by the author and illustrator as a fundraiser for their Books for Kids Africa project in Mozambique, this title was the picture-book winner for the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ children’s book competition.

A crowd-pleasing celebration of reading; nevertheless, it doesn't hold a candle to such more-polished presentations as Judy Sierra and Marc Brown's Wild about Books (2004). (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-934133-51-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Mackinac Island Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2012




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