105 Ways to Give a Book

New Way Of Looking For “Waldo”

Squeaking in under the wire with two Wee Ones (yeah, a little lame) Wednesday titles. They’re not new, and they’re not really related, except in my own mind — and in my review files. I’m off to some Girl Scout leader thing shortly, and these were calling to me, already written and waiting for their day in the sun. I had something else New and Exciting to do, but I kinda took a nap after work instead. So anyway...

Adèle & SimonAdèle & Simon, by Barbara McClintock, has gotten rave reviews for its old-fashioned look and meticulous drawings. And here I’ll agree. The drawings are amazingly detailed. It does make the Where’s Waldo? aspect of the book appropriately challenging. As Simon goes home with Adèle, along the way he loses his drawing, or hat, or coat, and the missing item is always in the picture somewhere.

But with everything going on in each scene, the items are pretty hard to find — even the second time through the book. At the back of the book is a little more information about the Parisian scene represented. It’s a beautiful, interesting book. I’m just not sure that kids of the Disney-color, videogame-graphic generation love the book as much as adults do.

Looking for a MooseLooking for a Moose, by Phyllis Root, is another Where’s Waldo? kind of book, but with moose parts. Mind you, the moose parts are still on the moose, but you can’t see the whole moose until the very end of the book. A group of four kids go looking for a moose, kind of in the we’re-goin’-on-a-bear-hunt way through the woods, the swamp, the bushes, and the hills. Along the way, sharp-eyed readers will be rewarded with views of moose legs, moose noses, moose antlers, and moose backs. But then at the end there are lots and lots of moose. (Mooses? Meese? It never sounds right, does it?)

The text has a sing-song ring to it. “Have you ever seen a moose — a long-leggy moose — a branchy-antler, dinner-diving, bulgy-nose moose?” and, “We look in the woods — TROMP STOMP! TROMP STOMP! — the treesy-breezy, tilty-stilty, wobbly-knobbly woods.” One of the best parts of the book for me is that the four children are of color — various shades of color, from very light skinned with brown hair to very dark with black hair. I’m always interested in a book with children of color that doesn’t make it about being children of color.

The title would be a fun read-aloud for a smaller group. The thing that might make it harder for a larger group is that the kids wouldn’t be able to spot the moose throughout the book, and some of the pictures don’t have a lot of contrast — they are mostly shades of brown, orange, and green — which might make it hard to see the pictures. But overall, a great book.


Anonymous said...

I had a pile of library books for my four year-old and Adele and Simon was the last one he chose to read. Later, I caught him looking through the pages alone, and I love that.

We never did find one of the crayons, though.

Anonymous said...

One of my four year old students LOVES this book -- she especially like tracing Adele and Simon's path through Paris on the map-endpapers.

Eliza K
School Librarian

Anonymous said...

The two and a half year old I nanny for LOVED Adele and Simon. She continued asking for it weeks after I returned it to the library. Certainly, she couldn't find all the things herself the first time, but she quickly memorized them (plus, she loved finding Madaline!) and wanted to hear the story and find them again and again and again...