Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs

Linda Sue Park, illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. Clarion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-39101-7
Perfectly pitched to its audience, this clever introduction to animal-themed homographs also works as a vocabulary lesson and a catchy read-aloud. Park (Xander’s Panda Party) and Reinhardt (The Inventor’s Secret) make an ideal team as they introduce an array of animals paired with verbs that share their names: “Cranes crane” their elongated necks in one spread, while “Slugs slug slugs” with boxing gloves. “Ack! I’m upside down! I’m upside down!” yells a floundering flounder, and one badger badgers another about the apple it’s carrying, his longwinded pleas too big to fit in the speech bubbles above his head. Things only get wilder as “bats bat” during a midair baseball game, cows drive bumper cars (“Steers steer”), and a ram accidentally rams a duck, forcing the ducks on the following page to, well, you get the idea. Succinct definitions are tucked into the illustrations (“to crow = to boast”), and back matter offers etymological notes about the animal names and verbs. Gleeful linguistic fun that kids will wolf down. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 03/08/2016
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