Everybody has a tushy – and it’s a good thing they do. Tushies are useful for cushioning bumps, fitting into laps, and riding on sleds. This book is a celebration of tushies of all sizes and their many uses.
The illustrations – done with pencil and transparent inks on vellum – are adorable. The realistic style lends itself to details, so that every page is filled with figures all doing something different. There is a slight chance that the rare parent will take offense at the subject matter (for instance, the “Every tushy has a crack!” page features several children whose buns are peaking out from underpants, diapers, or bathwater), but I suspect most adults will be too busy being amused at the pictures while their children giggle helplessly at the mere mention of the word “tushy”.
The illustrations are excellent in their depiction of the world as well. People of all races and ages are shown, although Asians are underrepresented. It can be unusual to find a picture book that features the elderly in a role other than grandparent, so it is refreshing to see a couple in their sixties alone at the beach, and an old man feeding pigeons on his own. The beach scene is also interesting because while all of the children appear fit and healthy, the adults are a wide range of body types. This whole paragraph might seem like it’s overanalyzing something meant to be fun, and in some ways that’s true. But the subject of allowing every person to see themselves reflected in illustrations is an important one.>
What makes a good read-aloud book? The answers could be argued for hours, but I suspect that some almost all of the agreed-upon elements would be found in this little gem. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer is simply a classic read-aloud book. The sentences are short, allowing one to make the most of an emphatic delivery. Animal noises not only abound but are integral to the story, allowing for ample opportunity for audience participation, both in making animals noises themselves and in shouting out the animal that makes that particular sound. The simple, uncluttered illustrations are very funny, the expressions on George’s mother’s face never fails to get a laugh from story time audiences.
In a nutshell, George is a small dog. When his mother asks him to bark, he responds “Quack” or “Moo” or other inappropriate sounds. Taken to the vet, the solution to the problem quickly becomes hilariously apparent. The last line in the book is quite clever, and while it tends to go over very young children’s heads, the preschoolers in the room will certainly “get it” and find it extra funny. A definite recommendation to anyone searching for a good book to read aloud, whether to a large group or just one-on-one.
Little Pea loves many things – playing on the playground, talking to mom, goofing around with his dad. But when it comes to dinner time…there is one thing he absolutely hates to eat: candy.
Just as many young children groan when forced to eat their vegetables, Little Pea is dismayed to find that he has to eat his candy – five whole pieces! The disgusted look on his face is sure to be familiar to parents with finicky children. Some children are a bit confused – doesn’t everyone love candy?- but most of the kids I have read this aloud to have loved it for its deliciously subversive plot. The line illustrations on a blank white background are great, effortlessly showing personality, of which Little Pea has quite a bit.
Other Books by theAuthor/Illustrator Team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace :
Little Hoot, soon to be published.