Review Blog

Oct 31 2016

Du iz tak? by Carson Ellis

cover image

Ill. by Carson Ellis. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406368413
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Language. Insects. Seasons. Read aloud. Insects will never look the same again after readers have wandered through this inviting book, eagerly sharing the language that the insects are given to speak. From the title, to every word on every page, children are encouraged to work out what is being said, and it is not that difficult for eager minds to do this, imagining what is being said and developing their own responses.
The amazing changes in a garden are explored with insects speaking to each other, many asking questions of the other about the garden they are in and what is happening in it.
Over the whole year, many things happen in the garden: a caterpillar strolls to the end of a stick where it becomes a chrysalis, eventually becoming a moth which has one bright night to find a mate, a small shoot appears above the ground and then grows into a plant which flowers and then dies when the snow falls, only for the seedlings to appear again the following year, ladybirds fly into the garden along with small insects, ants, spiders, birds and beetles, mushrooms rise up and then fall away, flowers appear then die, and all the while the insects make use of the plant in the centre of the garden, using their unusual language.
The arresting and highly detailed illustrations make full use of the white of the page, with the same plant and stick placed on every page, showing how they change over the year. Readers will have fun following images as they change, replicating the changes made through the seasons while reading the book aloud will add another level of humour to the classroom. A wonderful introduction to a class garden encouraging children to look more closely at what surrounds them and how things change over a year.
Carson Ellis' first novel, Home appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and her work can be viewed on her website.
Fran Knight

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