CM . . . . Volume XX Number 28 . . . . March 21, 2014
Oh No Noah! is about Noah, a little boy who uses his imagination to help him get through things he doesn't want to do - like going to the dentist, cleaning his room, or looking after his little sister. Whenever he has to do these things, his imagination takes over, and he turns into a crocodile, an anteater, a muskox or another animal to get through it. Consequently, he is able to turn an "Oh No" into an "Oh Yes" and get through each unpleasant experience.
The story jumps from concept to concept with each page and would work well for sharing with young children who are still learning to follow narrative arcs as each page is an episode in itself. Each page showcases a different scenario that is resolved through Noah's imagination as a coping mechanism.
Oh No Noah! is a story that would be great to share with children going through similar experiences to engage and encourage their imagination. The repetitious nature of the episodes will involve children as they catch on to saying "Oh No" and "Oh Yes" along with Noah. While some of the concepts are a stretch, the story is redeemed through Kellerhals-Stewart's use of rare words, such as "mosquito's proboscis," which is an excellent tool for language development. As well, the illustrations are bright, colourful, and detailed and invite the reader to explore each page.
A nonfiction component with descriptions of the animals mentioned in the story is included at the end of the book. This section also includes photographs of the animals which provide a nice visual comparison to the illustrations in the story. Children will enjoy gleaning facts to tell their siblings and friends, and this section provides further opportunity for shared reading and scaffolding.
Courtney Novotny is a Children, Teens, and Families Librarian at Calgary Public Library.
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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.