Whatchamacallit? My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen
MY FATHER KNOWS THE NAMES OF THINGS.
EACH BIRD THAT SINGS, THEIR NICKNAMES, TOO.
HE KNOWS THE NAMES OF DOGS. AND CHEESE.
AND SEVEN WORDS THAT ALL MEAN BLUE.
Knowledge begins with nomenclature, and this lucky kid's dad specializes in the science of whatchamacallitology. He knows the names of the planets and lots of the stars. He knows the names of fish and human bones, mosses and bugs--and not just the names, but scientific characteristics of the things he names:
HE KNOWS WHICH FLOWERS ARE THE TALLEST.
AND WHICH BEETLES ARE THE SMALLEST.
AND WHEN WE FLY, HE SAYS OUT LOUD
THE NAME OF EVERY KIND OF CLOUD.
In a fond tribute to her late husband and to those wonderful early childhood years in which kids believe their parents know just about everything, Jane Yolen's newest picture book, My Father Knows the Names of Things (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is an ebullient offering for Fathers Day reading. Illustrator Stephane Jorisch offers an energetic long-legged dad who tries out seven samples of blue paint in broad swaths, all with intriguing names, for his son's room, one who flies him aloft in a bright red two-seater airplane just to point out the types of clouds and mans the tiller while his son snorkels among the various fishes in the sea. He reels off breeds of cats, varieties of candies in the sweet shop, and even shares the names of the dinosaurs that are meanest, not to mention the soaps that get a kid cleanest.
Yolen's easy-going rhymes and Jorisch's sweeping two-page spreads keep the story moving at a jolly pace, one that an inquisitive and energetic dad (or mom) would approve.
HE POINTS OUT EVERYTHING WE SEE
AND TEACHES ALL THE NAMES TO ME.
Read it to your daughters and read it to your sons; here's to dads who know just tons!