cover image Mom and Dad Are Palindromes

Mom and Dad Are Palindromes

Mark Shulman, , illus. by Adam McCauley. . Chronicle, $15.95 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-4328-7

In this tale of compulsive wordplay, flame-haired Bob (aka Robert Trebor) discovers palindromes and becomes possessed by language. He notices mirror-image words and phrases everywhere, and begins listing "My kayak . My race car . Otto , my pup .... I needed to tell Mom and Dad and... O no !" Realizing the literal truth of the book title, Bob rushes to inform his sister Anna: "You're all palindromes! Even Nan !" Anna, snacking on Doofy Food, cautions, "Level, Bob, level . You're being a kook !" Bob's apprehension increases in a way that's both funny and infectious. "It will get better, won't it now ?" he reasons, unwittingly compounding the irony. Shulman (AA Is for Aardvark ) and McCauley (My Friend Chicken ) mimic the high anxiety of Scieszka and Smith's Math Curse , down to the speckly illustration style and playful display type. They emphasize the palindromes with old-fashioned, circus-like capital letters that suit the hyper mood perfectly; street signs, book titles and incidental background details further reveal the palindrome epidemic. Fans of Jon Agee's palindrome titles will want to check out this volume, which slyly promotes a catchy spelling game. Ages 5-10. (June)