Primary March 2019 (1)August 1st, 2018 | Posted by in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Primary | Primary (Grades K-2) | March
Stewart, Melissa. Can an Aardvark Bark? Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Beach Lane, 2017. 32 pages (978–1–4814–5852–8)
A primary narrative strings together questions and answers about the sounds animals do and don’t make (“Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can grunt … Can a seal squeal? No, but it can bark … Can a wild boar roar? No, but it can squeal.”). Each question-and-answer pair is followed by a page spread that provides examples of other animals that make the same sound. (e.g, “Lots of other animals grunt too.”) For all of the animals named—and shown in Steve Jenkins’s striking collage portraits set against white pages—there is a brief description relating to the sound it makes: how it makes that sound, or under what circumstances. (“A European hedgehog snorts when it’s angry and purrs when it’s happy. When the prickly critter senses danger, it squeals and rolls up in a tight ball.”) There is playfulness in the rhymes and the occasional disruption of the patterned primary text, while the brief information about each animal is also offered in the spirit of both fact-finding and fun. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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