________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 11 . . . . February 1, 2002

cover Pants Off First! (An Early Bird Boardbook).

Ruth Ohi.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001.
22 pp., board, $10.95.
ISBN 1-55041-667-7.

Subject Heading:
Clothing and dress-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool / Ages 6 months-4 years.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

*** /4

 

exerpt:

Puppy wants the pants.
A leg in each leg.
Bunnies want the shirt.
One in each arm.
Hamsters in the socks.
One hops away.

Mom and Dad are entertaining, and it is bedtime. A toddler is left to his own devices to get undressed and into his pajamas. His pets complicate this task. The dog aids the cat in letting the rabbits out of their cage and the hamsters escape. Each pet puts on an article of the toddler's clothing and the merriment begins. Eventually the toddler shows up on the staircase in his birthday suit. He is hustled up to his room, into his pajamas and into bed, with the animals curled up beside him, still dressed in his clothes.

pants

     This is a delightful bedtime frolic, sure to ring true for children and parents alike. Ohi is an extremely accomplished illustrator, and this book is no exception. The illustrations are full of mischief, creativity, affection and joie de vivre. The animals take turns drawing, driving the "car," dancing and other forms of rascality.

     The text is simple, allowing the pictures to tell a great deal of the story, and there is enough repetition to make it a worthy early reader. The one thing that is confusing is the varying colour and font size of the text. Some of the text is in red and some in black, and the font size varies from sentence to sentence. The font size and the colour are not consistent either. Sometimes the black text is in a larger size, sometimes in a smaller size. I could see no reason for this usage, and an email query to the publisher received no reply. But this is a minor concern and should not interfere with the enjoyment of this title. Pants Off First! has been a huge hit with our pre-schooler.

Highly Recommended.

Ruth McMahon worked as a professional children's librarian for 13 years and is currently co-chairing Alberta's Rocky Mountain Book Award.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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