CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 22. . . .February 7, 2014
Author Helaine Becker's new children's picture book with rhyme, titled Ode To Underwear, is a multi-page, full-colour celebration of all kinds and shapes of underclothing that children will find at once familiar and unfamiliar. The illustrations, by Mike Boldt, are colourful and clearly personify the various pieces of underwear by giving faces, arms and legs to everything from briefs and boxers to drawers and gotch. I don't know how familiar young readers will be with the latter two underwear words.
Other new vocabulary words would likely include bloomers and girdles. I am not sure whom this book would entertain. I can see the "surprise" value of a book about underwear. But underwear words are embarrassing to children. Vocabulary will need explanation in instances where it is not clear which piece of clothing in a picture is, for example, the girdle and which are the bloomers. Use of the word "gotch" is interesting because, in my research for this review, I discovered that “gotch” is a regional Canadian word, less familiar than the more familiar "gonch”, and so readers are more likely not to know it.
Ode To Underwear seems either to be a book to teach underwear vocabulary (not well) or to teach a silly rhyme (embarrassing).
Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at Katzie Elementary School in Surrey, BC.
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