June 17, 2016

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 4:09 pm by suebe2

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs
by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Clarion Books

Do you have a young reader who likes to play with words?  Whose altogether punny?  Then pick up a copy of Yaks Yak. Each spread contains a homograph pair — two words that sound alike.  I say “two words” because one is the noun form while the other is the verb.  Although the verb may be a bit advanced that’s where Jennifer Black Reinhardt’s illustrations come into play.

In the spread that features bats, the text is super simple.  “Bats bat.”  Then the art shows five bats in flight swinging baseball bats.  Just in case the young reader doesn’t get all he needs from the illustration itself, cozied into the art work is the definition.  In this case, one of the baseballs is printed with the definition of “to bat.”

This is a great book to use when working with language.  It shows how the meaning of a word is context dependent when it has multiple meanings.  The book will also present a challenge for young word hounds — can you come up with something that is both an animal and a verb but isn’t in the book?  I have to admit that I only came up with one (fly).  I’ll have to do some more thinking on this.

The back matter includes the word origin for both the animal and the action.  My favorite?  To hog which was first seen in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Fin (1884).

Jennifer Black Reinhardt’s watercolor and ink illustrations do a great job bringing this super simple text to life.  Her animals are happy and silly and do a great job of making the book fun and education vs simply studious.  An excellent choice for bringing language to life.



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