Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pssst! I have a great new picture book to recommend!


written and illustrated by Adam Rex

Harcourt, 2007

Adam Rex must be a master of titles and intrigue. His latest title The True Meaning of Smekday makes me say HUH? And this book's title makes me say HMM! His book Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich made me order it the title alone.

Pssst! is such an interactive, fun book to read. A little girl takes a trip to the zoo, and as she goes to each animals, they say PSSST to her. In some places it reads like a comic strip with several little boxes on a page and speech bubbles to indicate who is speaking.

The little girl is shocked when each animal makes a special request for items. The items seem strange, so she sometimes questions why they need these things. For example, the bats ask her to bring them flashlights. She wonders why bats need flashlights if they love the dark. It's the hippo that lives near them that doesn't really like the dark. The turkeys ask for corn. They don't want to eat the corn, they want to use it for clean burning fuel.

The book is filled with text in speech bubbles as the animals and the girl talk to each other. But even more intriguing is the text that occurs in signs in the zoo.

This is a romping good read aloud. Young children will want to say PSSST along with you every time a new animal appears. Older kids will get more of the clues along the way and also enjoy reading the writing that is in the signs.

What's even more surprising is what the animals do with all of the items that they requested. The little girl brings the items back and they make a get-away vehicle with the items! Even my 3 year old "got it" when I turned to the last page. We've spent a lot of time laughing over this book.

PSSST! This would make a great Christmas gift for children 3 and up!

PSSST! This book has been nominated for the Cybils in the fiction picture book category.

PSSST! Adam Rex has a blog!

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