Author: Kes Gray
Illustrator: Jim Field
Age Group: 3-6
Synopsis: Quentin loses an A in his Quack and is searching for a replacement but no one has extra letters to spare that sound right.
The Low Down:
We love letters. Whether they are randomly posted on signs, in books, or scattered around our kitchen, Bug is always playing with their sounds. We’re starting on reading and spelling and I’m ecstatic. I can see, as we blend the sounds, the light clicking on in his head as he figures out what word is in front of him. I feel like I’m giving him the keys to an entire world. A world whose secret door can be carried with you anywhere and it only takes a turn of the wrist to slip through the pages and into a fantasy beyond imagining. I’m loving it.
This stage in his development has come a bit sooner than I anticipated and while I’m so pleased, I’m approaching it all very carefully. I want it to be fun. I don’t want to turn it into drills. He doesn’t need that right now and I don’t want to do anything to damage his relationship with reading. Right now everything is games. Our favorite now is when Bug puts letters together and we sound them out, seeing what funny combinations we can make. Quick Quack Quentin couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time.
I can’t help but read this with a Chicago accent and in what amounts to a thirty page tongue twister is a recipe for hilarity. Quentin has a quick quack but loses the A in his “Quack” and is stuck with a “Quck.” He travels all over and meets animals willing to give him their letters but “Quock,” “Quick,” and “Quuck” just don’t sound right. Plus that would leave the animals: Dgs, Pgs, and Blls. Even searching through the zoo leaves Quentin without a solution. It’s not until he finds an animal with tons of As to spare that Quentin discovers the answer. I won’t tell you which animal it is but it’s clever and funny.
Jim Field’s does a marvelous job. I can’t help but love his quirky animals on bright solid backgrounds. They really illustrate the animal’s unique personalities. You can tell what type of voice they’d have by just looking at them. The bull with a deep, steady drawl, the snakes with condescending lisps, or the chicken with a paternal high-pitched cluck. The amount of attitude that they each encompass makes me thankful that there’s mostly just one per page so I can take the time to enjoy them fully.
- Keep an eye on other words throughout the book. Every so often they lose As too. Like Kes Gray on the cover.
I need more!
Kes Gray wants his books to be cheeky, daring, funny, and weird. Well he usually succeeds. We love his Oi Frog! So much but haven’t had a chance to read many of his other titles. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for them now though. His website is very exciting but not so wasy to use to browse his titles. I’d use Amazon or Google instead.
Jim Field has been featured on our website before. Check out Lion Inside for the low down on one of our favorite illustrators.
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