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Yo! Yes? Paperback – September 1, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Raschka's innovative picture book aims to explore the nature of friendship in only 34 words. It's a risk, but as a writer and artist Raschka is no stranger to risk-taking--his debut ( Charlie Parker Played Be Bop ) was a sly, joyous exercise in avant-garde that stretched the definition of picture book. And here, he does the same. After the briefest of exchanges, two boys--one black, one white, one shy, one outgoing, one nerdy, one street-smart--decide to take a chance on friendship. Like a two-character play with no scenery and minimal dialogue, the story relies on the expressiveness of the "actors" and the raw energy of the artwork to hook the reader. Raschka's watercolor and charcoal pencil illustrations certainly do the trick--they're brash, witty and offbeat, and easily portray a vigorous range of emotion. At least in the small realm of this cheeky picture book, less is definitely more. Ages 3-6.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- An effective, unusual 34-word story of the beginnings of a friendship, accompanied by wild and wonderful illustrations. Against pastel backgrounds, in vibrant, colorful images, an African-American boy and a white boy meet on the street. "What's up?" "Not much." "Why?" "No fun." "Oh?" "No friends." These one- and two-word exchanges on each spread lead to a tentative offer of friendship, sealed as both boys jump high in the air and yell "Yow!" The succinct, rhythmic text and the strong cartoonlike watercolor-and-charcoal illustrations are perfect complements. The feelings of each child run the gamut from loneliness, curiosity, fear of rejection, and hopefulness to, finally, joy; the illustrations do a particularly fine job of limning each boy's emotions in very simple images on the oversized pages. With a beautifully balanced, economical style, the book illumines the peaks and pitfalls of getting acquainted, and puts in a good word for brotherhood as well. Amusing for story times, or for use in discussions of feelings, it is fun to read and look at, and appealing to the eye, ear, and heart. "Yow!"-- Judy Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library , LA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; 1st Orchard Paperbacks Ed edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531071081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531071083
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 7.8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sandra McCoy on May 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yo! Yes? is the first book I read to my class each school year. We use it in several ways. First, I explain to my class that sometimes we need a way to focus our attention. So when I say Yo!, they should say Yes? and then stop talking and listen carefully. Next we use this as a guided reading book so that the children can practice how to use punctuation to decide voice inflection when reading. Later still we use the book as a springboard for a discussion of Conflict Mediation and then friendship. I love this book and so do the children in my multiage classroom because in so few words it conveys so much.
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Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book I immediately purchased it at the Scholastic book fair. I then translated it in French & Spanish (available upon request!). It makes a great beginning ESL book as is & foreign language pronoun and pronunciation book because of its simple question/answer and comment structure between two buddies, appropriately of different ethnic/racial backgrounds. Kids really respond to this (& even adults!) in foreign language classrooms, wanting to mimic the dialogue. I often separate the class (left/right or boys/girls) to do so. Great fun way to memorize dialogue and learn proper intonation.
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By A Customer on March 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My 17 month old daughter adores this book and will probably have it memorized, gestures and all, within the month. Inflection is key here and it's something babies start to work on even before they know words. The story is meant for an older (pre-school) audience, but the fun-with-language aspect of this book makes it great for even the littlest listeners.
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By W. Cluff on December 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book beautifully illustrates the delicate birth of a friendship and the vast importance of body language in communication. Because the text is so sparse the reader has to take the two boys posture and facial expressions to find the correct context. I read it to preschoolers as part of our social skills curriculum. Being able to correctly assess another's emotions is an important skill that preschool age children are beginning to aquire. They are also very interested in starting new friendships. This makes this book a timely story to read to preschool children.
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By A Customer on May 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This short children's book is about two lonely boys, one Caucasian the other African-American, who meet on a street and become friends, speaking with only monosyllabic words. It's a story that has happened to all of us at one time or another. The book was a 1994 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach first grade and use this book to teach VOICE in my writer's workshop/6+1 traits of writing. This is also a great book for teaching punctuation as well. Multicultural text, strong illustrations and an award winner...can't go wrong. Reader friendly in grades 1-8. Happy reading! Warmly
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By A Customer on August 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This books allows the reader and the audience to explore the magical world of voice inflection. With it's one word dialogue and punctuation for inflection, we learn the true meaning of friendship in a "brief" format. Chris Raschka has ingeniously forces the reader to be expressive to get the message of friendship across. Superbly crafted. Bravo, Chris!
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Format: Paperback
This. Book. Rocks. It's one of those read alouds where the whole class goes silent. I know - your loving it even more now! But the silence is because they are secretly hoping for something special to happen...an awesome thing called friendship. I've had classes clap after I finish reading. Yep, they are totally clapping for friendship. Pretty sweet. Yo! Yes? has been a wonderful teaching tool. It's helped kids on both sides of the friendship spectrum from shy to outgoing. There's all kinds of goodness you can do with this book. Sincere questions I ask students: How can you reach out to someone you'd like to be friends with? How can you spot someone who is lonely and reach out to them with your friendship? Have you ever had a friendship similar to Yo! Yes? What do you notice is different about the boys? You get what I'm saying here - there are many discussion starters and role play scenarios to be used as teachable moments. Allow your child or students to read this out loud to you. They really get into the fluency, tone, and body language.
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