Monday, May 25, 2009
Review #29: Kidogo
Dad: "Kidogo" by Anik McGrory... I'm in love with it. What do you guys think?
Gracie (age 8): This book has really good descriptions: "Endless fields of rippling gold," and "Nights that were deeper than his dreams."
Lily (age 6): This book has a little elephant. Kidogo is the littlest elephant in the world.
Gracie: He’s so cute! The teeniest, tiniest elephant in the universe.
Lily: Kidogo has no horns yet.
Dad: I don't think any elephants have horns.
Gracie: Tusks, Lily. Horns are things monsters have on top of their heads.
Lily: Kidogo is a little elephant that doesn't like being little. Elephants are supposed to be humungo'.
Isaac (age 10): So Kidogo goes off to find someone smaller than him. When he was hunting for animals, he came across a hippopotamus, a lion, and a giraffe. Each time, he thinks he has found a little animal.
Gracie: Like with the lion -- at first he just saw the lion's tail, so it looked like a little guy. But when the lion stood up, Kidogo freaked out and ran away.
Isaac: He finds those big animals. But there's always little animals behind him that he doesn't see because he never looks backwards. He always looks forward for some reason.
Lily: But finally he does find something even littler than him - ants! And ants think Kidogo is a giant. And Kidogo learns that he is just the right size.
Gracie: What if the ants feel bad now?
Isaac: If a baby ant thought he was the teeniest thing in the world, he really would have a problem finding something smaller than himself.
Gracie: But what if there is another little guy, smaller than an ant, and he's just too small for us to see?
Dad: Well, there are creatures we can't see.
Isaac: There are?
Dad: If we got a microscope, and took a little drip from the pond across the street, you would be amazed at the gazillions of itty bitty creatures in the soupy-zoo, swimming around in that one drop of water.
Isaac: Let's do it!
Dad: There's even tiny little creatures that live in your eyelashes. They live there your whole life, and you never even know it.
Gracie: Actually, I don't think those were ants in the book, Dad. I think those are termites. Because they are going up into that big termite hill.
Dad: I agree.
Isaac: Lookit - there's another little animal behind Kidogo in this picture.
Dad: I didn't even notice it. Kidogo doesn't see him either, does he?
Lily: And I also didn't notice those little guys.
Dad: Oh wow - me either! Not until you just pointed them out. This picture is full of little guys. So this is kind of like a "look-and-find" book too.
Lily: A frog! And a bird!
Gracie: And there's an animal!
Lily: There's one!
Dad: I don't know how many times I've read this, and I've never seen any of these little guys...
Isaac: Look there's some animals right here.
Gracie: Kidogo's not looking behind him.
Isaac: They're always behind him.
Lily: He doesn't see the little guys.
Isaac: Kidogo, you've got to look behind you!
Dad: So guys, tell me about the art...
Isaac: The paintings are so cool! It looks like she just splashed the different colors onto the drawings.
Lily: It looks like little globs of goo.
Isaac: It looks so beautiful. I want to learn to do that.
Dad: Now, sometimes a picture fills a whole page. But do you know what a little picture like this is called?
Lily: White space!
Dad: Well, there is white space around it. When there's white space around it, the picture is called "spot art."
Isaac: (singing) Spotty art, spotty art, spotty-spotty-spotty art!
Dad: Anything else you want to say about the drawings?
Gracie: Just by the shape of his face, you can tell how Kidogo is feeling.
Isaac: I'll show you: I won't read the words, but I can tell he's a little worried right here. And here, he's -- okay I have no idea what that one is. And in this one right here, he looks like he is stubborn... or something.
Lily: He looks like he is drowsy.
Dad: Drowsy! That's a good word, Lily.
Gracie: Mom taught her that word... because Lily was being drowsy.
Isaac: Kidogo is surprised right here. And not so happy.
Dad: The story doesn't even have to tell you his emotion. You just look at his ears and you can totally tell how he's feeling.
Gracie: Kidogo has emotional ears. Very dramatic ears.
Isaac: I don't think he talks at all in the whole story.
Dad: No, he's an elephant. Elephants don't talk.
Isaac: Yeah, they go: Vvvvrooooooooooo-rooooooo.
Dad: But there's no English-speaking animals. So then, is this a realistic kind of story? Or not realistic?
Isaac: Realistic... or... realistic-ish... or... not-ish.
Dad: No, it is. It's set realistically. I mean... it's not like the animals are wearing pants.
Gracie: Dad, I think Kidogo must be a girl. She has eyelashes.
Dad: I have eyelashes.
Isaac: I have eyelashes.
Gracie: Yeah but in books, only girls have eyelashes.