Sunday, December 23, 2012

What's What? Tell Me about Colors, Shapes, and Opposites by Aurelie Guillerey


Where can that tricky cat be?

Is he below the bed, on top of the cabinet, or on the bottom? How about beside the chair? Actually, keen observers can point him out, just sneaking out the door of the kids’ bedroom. Did he turn left or right? Is he inside the house or outside? Is he behind the rug on the clothesline? In front? One sharp-eyed tot is pointing up, up to the spot, where a turn of the page shows him in the tree, “Up there!”

With the cat and a curious bird leading the way, the kids go on to more complex concepts, not just size, but–thin, thick, long, twisted, straight–as they help clean up the fallen sticks under the tree, where the cat is still hiding–in their tree house!

From there, the cat takes the kids on to the fun of colors–black, grey, white-- on the street as they make their way to the open air market where they find all sorts of colors in flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and the companionable cat keeps up the pace until they’ve seen them all..

Back at home, it’s time for quiet crafts. The cat curls up in a round ball for a cat nap, modeling the first of the shapes–the circle--followed by the rest of the usual suspects–rectangle, square, triangle.  Kids settle down with their art supplies and cutout shapes and encounter a few other concepts as well–dots, loops checks, stripes, and spots. as they construct pictures from the patchwork pieces.

Now it’s time for a party, and the black cat is on it in a flash as preparations begin. One girl,  alone, works the phones calling up guests, and soon they are all together for the festivities. A line dance is followed by swinging your partner two by two in a do-si-do. And then it’s time for the refreshments–a whole birthday cake, a slice, a section, or a piece! Candy? Many? A few? None at all?

What about going on a little day trip? (The little black cat opts to stay at home when the family heads for the beach. All that water? Ne-ow!)  But the kids are up for sand castling from morning till evening! Their sand sculpture is seen in progress–before and during--the construction process, and sadly after a wave retakes their sand castle.

At last it’s time for good-bye to the beach and hello to home, where you-know-who is waiting for them on their doorstep!

A charming little black cat is the guide, putting tots through their paces in Delphine Badreddine’s Tell Me About Colors, Shapes, and Opposites (Owl Kids Press, 2012) which offers plenty of opportunities for more than vocabulary building in the lively activities illustrated by Aurelie Guillerey,with chances for questions and predicting what will come next. This is a dandy concept book which help teach those important language-linking words, and with their friendly feline guide, kids will want to see what that little black cat is up to next.

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