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BETTER TOGETHER by Sheryl Shapiro


by Sheryl Shapiro & Simon Shapiro & illustrated by Dušan Petričić

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55451-279-9
Publisher: Annick Press

A compendium of poems designed to teach the concept of mixing...and, of course, to entertain.

Each of the 13 verses is illustrated with a two-page spread, featuring mostly children doing the mixing. "Glue" shows them combining flour and water to make glue for a classroom art project—"Then mix them, squish them, squoosh them, / 'til you get a sticky goo." In "Bubbles," a girl blocks her brother, who wants to give the dog a bath in the washing machine, advising instead that they "Rub and scrub with soapy water, watch the bubbles fly." "Concrete" shows a workman putting sand, gravel, water and cement into the big mixer, as well as a trio of children putting their prints in the new sidewalk (one gets his shoes stuck): "Concrete starts all soft and slushy, / then gets hard—that's clever." Other topics include a makeshift Martian costume for Halloween, cinnamon toast, a ragtag soccer team, salad dressing, mud, music and bedtime; that is, the routine of checking under the bed, a bedtime story, hug and kiss, etc. "Just one more glass of water, / and one more time to pee, / and one more check beneath the bed / for monsters—wait for me." A brief, helpful afterword suggests teaching possibilities provided by the text.

The poetry may be hit and miss, but the concept is terrific and the illustrations similarly sublime. (Picture book. 3-6)