YOU CAN'T TASTE A PICKLE WITH YOUR EAR: A Book About Your 5 Senses

Harriet Ziefert, Author, A. Haley, Author, H. Ziefert, Author , illus. by Amanda Haley. Handprint/ Blue Apple $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-929766-68-0

"Your nose, skin, ears, eyes and tongue are working all of the time," notes Ziefert in this whimsical, if somewhat uneven, primer, "even when you are not paying attention to them." Each sense gets its own brief chapter, kicked off with a few well-worn observations or factoids to help readers understand both how the senses work and how they fit into a grander scheme. A spread or two of mildly playful rhymed musings follow ("Worms are soft,/ beetles are hard./ Can you find some/ in your yard?"). But it's Haley's (It's a Baby's World) free-wheeling watercolor-and-ink cartooning and frisky handwritten typography that add jolts of humor and energy. For a full-bleed violet-hued painting showing a boy going to bed ("Do you see shadows on the floor?"), the artist's slightly off-kilter perspective, plus an unperturbed canine companion on the floor, offer readers comic relief and reassurance alongside the elongated shadows. Adults reading with a child will appreciate the chapter conclusions, which offer a list of questions that may well spark discussion: "Do you ever get angry and pretend you can't hear people?" or "When you shut your eyes, what happens to your eyeballs?" Given how much series like The Magic School Bus have upped the ante in the science category, older children may not find much meat here. Preschoolers, however, may develop a new awareness thanks to this book's gentle promptings and Haley's inviting illustrations. Ages 4-7. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/04/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-6500-3
Paperback - 26 pages - 978-1-59354-172-9
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-60905-418-2
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