cover image Wumbers


Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1022-6

Acceler8 your thinking! Rosenthal and Lichtenheld, the team behind Duck! Rabbit! and others, continue their successful collaboration with a collection of word puns that substitute numbers for letters, text-message style (the book is dedicated to William Steig, “the cr8or of C D B!”). Throughout, characters have conversations that readers of all skill levels will delight in decoding. One spread imagines a tuba lesson: “Tigh10 your mouth... then 4ce out the air,” the teacher tells her student. Lichtenheld stands ready with a visual punch line: “2t!” the girl blasts, as her hair frizzes with the effort and the tuba vibrates alarmingly. Despite the goofy premise, Rosenthal takes her task seriously. The puns aren’t labored, and some are entertainingly complex. Kids will pick up new vocabulary (a spread of a diamond-adorned octopus is accompanied by the observation “Those sure are some orn8 10tacles”), and they’ll enjoy the cultural references (two kids comment on the bird inked on a bearded man’s bicep: “Cool! Look at his 2can ta2!”). Don’t worry about reading aloud: wumbers are easy to decode if you pay a10tion. Ages 4–up. Agent: Amy Rennert, the Amy Rennert Agency. (July)