Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Big Dipper: I Scream Ice Cream by by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Sergio Bloch



Those mischievous pairs of words or phrases which have absolutely nothing in common except that they sound exactly the same--known pedigogically as homophones-- are the verbal landscape around which author Amy Krouse Rosenthal builds a playground of spoken wordplay with what she calls "wordles."

Assisted by the illustrations and book design of internationally-known artist Sergio Bloch, I Scream! Ice Cream!: A Book of Wordles (Chronicle, 2013) is a bunch of fun that even beginning readers can get into.  Bloch designs the book so that one phrase is introduced page right, giving the reader a chance to come up with the other part of the pair, as in the evergreen I Scream and Ice Cream before reading the other sound-alike on the next page. Each page becomes a clever captioned cartoon which leads to the following page's alternative.  A group of spooked Reindeer yield with a flip of the page to a solicitous mom proffering an open umbrella to her child as the rain begins to shower down, with the caption Rain, Dear!

Other simple wordles follow:  Meek...  Loud! and  Meek Cloud and  Pants...Knees, followed by an out-of-breath, allergy-ridden dog with the caption... Pant!  Sneeze! Fairy tale heroines get into the act with a drawing of Sleeping Beauty saying "A nap'll do me good!" and Snow White looking askance at the witch's poisoned fruit, saying "An apple'll doom me good!" There's even a triple wordle for the intrepid: "Uh, not her!...A knotter?...An otter?

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the wordmeister of  elementary grade wordplay, and I Scream! Ice Cream!: A Book of Wordles shows kids how to have fun with their native tongue, or as Kirkus Reviews alliteratively puts it, "Witty wordplay guaranteed to tease and tickle."  Pair this one with Rosenthal's 1derful wordplay-with-numbers book Wumbers (see my review here) for gr8, cre8ive fun with figures 4 kids!

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