Nothing Like a Puffin, written by Sue Solstis and illustrated by Bob Kolar

Sue Soltis and Bob Kolar have created a very fun, very silly, bright and beautiful book with Nothing Like a Puffin. What starts out as an exploration of things that are NOT like a puffin turns in to a curious game of comparisons, all the while repeating the title which is so fun to say, your kids will be shouting it out loud with you as you read. The book begins, "Look, a puffin! What a marvelous creature, one of a kind and amazing. Indeed, there is nothing like a puffin." 

Then it gets a little silly, or so you think... "A ladder is nothing like a puffin. It has steps you climb up to get somewhere high. A house is nothing like a puffin. A house has windows and doors. "

"A newspaper, to be sure, is nothing like a puffin. A newspaper is shaped like a rectangle and made out of paper. A newspaper has pages. It is black and white. But wait -" And with that, Soltis' slippery logic takes one turn and then another.

From there, Soltis uses objects and creatures that are seemingly nothing like a puffin (a snake, a goldfish, a shovel, a helicopter) and shows us how they are, in fact, like a puffin in some ways. For the finale, and if you know anything about puffins you might have seen this coming, Soltis compares a puffin to a penguin. Indeed, it does seem like they have so many things in common that perhaps a puffin is not that one of a kind, amazing creature we thought him to be at the start of the book? Maybe the penguin and puffin are two of a kind? But, Soltis (and the puffin) have something up their sleeves...

Kids love animals, especially those that look like they are actually mash-ups of a few other, more common animals and for that reason alone they will love Nothing Like a Puffin. Add to that Kolar's brightly colored, crisply kooky artwork and you have a hit. Maybe Soltis and Kolar will consider lending their talents to one of my favorite, uncommon animals? I just don't know what rhymes with narwhal . . .

NOTHING LIKE A PUFFIN. Text copyright © 2011 by Sue Soltis. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Bob Kolar. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, SomervilleMA.

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