CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2006
Despite its name, I Spy a Pumpkin’s link to Halloween does not obviously continue past the first pair of facing pages. Part of the “Scholastic Reader” series, the book is categorized by the publisher as a “Level 1" book indicating that it contains “Simple words and short sentences for the newest readers.” If any of the book’s 10 full colour “busy” photos look familiar, it’s because they are taken from four of Wick’s books which were originally published between 1992 and 1996. The design of the first 20 pages sees a page containing a sentence of text facing a full page photo illustration. The sentence, which contains an internal rhyme, invites the beginning reader to find from four to six objects that are somewhere in the photo. As part of the text, there is also an illustration of each object to be found so that, even if a child cannot read the words, as long as s/he understands the book’s concept, s/he can participate in the book’s activity. The book’s last half dozen pages are Marzollo’s “riddles” which draw attention to words, not images. Examples would be:
As an early introduction and motivator to reading, I Spy a Pumpkin adequately serves its role.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and YA 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.