I keep wanting to dislike a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, I really do. Why so mean spirited, you might ask? Well, this woman is prolific, multitalented and always teams up with magnificent illustrators like Jane Dyer (the Cookies series), Paul Schmid (The Wonder Book), Scott Magoon (Spoon), Tom Lichtenheld (Duck! Rabbit!, Yes Day! and It's Not Fair!) and my favorite, Jen Corace (Little Pea, Little Hoot, Little Oink). She also has created really fabulous memory keeping books for moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, etc. And, she writes adult books. And everything she does is good! How can she be so great and when will her brilliance falter? This is also kind of how I feel about Mo Willems. How can these people be so consistently good so often? Well, whatever the superhuman secret they share, the newest picture book from Rosenthal and Corace is FABULOUS! It's one of those books that just might appeal more to adults than kids, but I did give it a test drive at story time more than once and there were no wiggles or walk aways. I couldn't find any of the illustrations to share with you, but the book trailer is very well done and worth a look.
As you might have guessed from the title, the book is made up of short word sentences that are all wonderfully illustrated by Jen Corace. One of the reasons that I think Rosenthal's picture books are so consistently good is that she finds a way to tap into things that are universal and look at them in a fresh way. I can easily imagine a family playing their own version of "This + That" during a car ride or a wait in a doctor's office or checkout line, much the way that Remy Charlip's excellent picture book Fortunately can inspire a fun car game. I am tempted to share every single equation in the book with you here because I really can't decide which ones not to include, but I will resist.So, here are a few of my favorites:
yes + no = maybe
smile + wave = hello AND smile + wave = ocean
chalk + sitting = school AND chalk + jumping = hopscotch
wishes + frosting = birthday cake
anything + sprinkles = better
(I am a firm believer of this equation)
small + bottle = baby AND tall + coffee = grown up
practice + practice = learning
practice + practice + practice = mastering
chores ÷ everyone = family
good days + bad days = real life
once upon a time = happily ever after = pretend
all done + time to go = the end
Since I couldn't find any illustrations from the book online, I'll share a few images of Jen's own great art work!