CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 19. . . .January 22, 2010
If looking at this book's cover causes you to experience deja vu, it's because Off We Go! was first published as a picture book in 2006. In some ways, the new board book version is superior to the work's original format. Firstly, the stiff pages are definitely more young finger friendly. Additionally, Abramson has made some small changes to her brief text, which actually make it more melodic when read out loud. For example, in the original book, a pair of facing pages carrying the text Tumble/Never stumble was altered to read Jumble tumble/Never stumble while Skip/Take a trip has become Hop and skip/Take a trip. Heave ho/Toe over toe is now Heave ho/Off we go.
With the original book having 21 pages of photographs and the board book being only 14 pages long, obviously a third of the photographs have been deleted. In some instances, a photo, instead of being deleted, has been retained, but it is now linked to a new mode of moving. For instance, a young First Nations dancer, originally connected with Swing it, has been moved to illustrate Hop and skip. While none of the multiracial children from the original book appeared to be any older than about six, Abramson, aware of the board book's toddler audience, seems to have made an effort to retain the photos containing younger children.
Dave Jenkinson, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, is CM's editor.
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