CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006
As Frank Sinatra’s lyrics to “Love and Marriage” say, “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage,” but what goes together with each of the following words: rooster, bumblebee, little brother, hen, chair, little old man, bird, little old woman, cone, carriage, fish, foot, hand, teddy bear and pillow? That’s the challenge Klinting poses to his young listeners/viewers as each of the book’s 15 rectos presents the statement,”The [something] wants...” and an illustration. The statements’ conclusions are then provided on the appropriate verso along with the “completed” illustration. Consequently, the cone wants its ice cream while the carriage wants its baby. Some of the linkages are less obvious. The little old lady wants her little old man, but he only wants his hat. The teddy near wants his friend who turns out to be another stuffed toy. Though the right hand appropriately wants its mitt, close observation by adults will reveal that the mitt-wearing hand is actually the left one. Sometimes the book’s very young audience must look closely at the illustration for help in completing the statement. Little brother, who is shown crying, has a red mark on his forehead, and the boo-boo is the clue to his wanting a band-aid. Klinting’s simple, uncluttered watercolour illustrations, which are presented on a white background, are most suitable for toddlers.
Although the structure of What Do You Want? suggests that there are right/wrong answers to completing the statements, the adult mediating the book with its pre-reading audience can certainly accept divergent “solutions” while explaining that the “right” answer was just Klinting’s response. A good home purchase, What Do You Want? should also be in all libraries serving the preschool crowd and their parents.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.