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I Can Help: A Picture Book Hardcover – February 16, 2010
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From School Library Journal
PreS—This simple tale of helpfulness is a charmer. A little yellow duck lives side by side with monkeys, giraffes, gorillas, and elephants. He is wandering through some tall grass when he stops and says, "Uh-oh. I'm lost." A monkey in a tree answers, "I can help." On the following spread, the duck says, "Thank you, monkey!" as he is reunited with his mother. That episode is followed by the monkey needing help, with a giraffe coming to his assistance. The story continues this pattern throughout the book. The text is sweetly illustrated with descriptive pictures. After one reading, most children will pick up on the pattern and be able to read the book by themselves. This endearing story of friendship should have broad appeal for most libraries serving preschoolers.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of Here They Come! (2004) offers another preschool title, this one addressing seeking and finding help. When a duck gets lost in the grasses near his pond, a monkey helps him find his way. In turn, monkey is rescued by giraffe, giraffe by gorilla, gorilla by sunbird, sunbird by elephant, and elephant by the original duck. Costello’s use of patterning is especially effective: each animal to be rescued is a juvenile; each rescuer says, “I can help”; and each “thank you” comes from a parent. The ink-and-watercolor artwork features simply drawn, brightly colored focal characters set against landscaped backgrounds suggesting an African savanna. The animals, except perhaps the sunbird, will be familiar to young listeners, and the added twist in the final spreads (duck is lost again, but new friends are ready to help) will amuse and reassure them. Spare, repetitive text and attractive artwork make this an ideal story-hour choice for even the squirmiest group. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Kay Weisman