Monday, July 13, 2009

Review #36: Flip, Flap, Fly!

Gracie (age 8):  "Flip, Flap, Fly!"  Ha ha!  I said the title first!
Dad:  It's written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by David Walker.
Gracie:  It has such cute little characters!
Dad:  David Walker is one of my new favorite illustrators.  I look for every book of his that comes out.
Gracie:  David Walker, you have the cutest drawing skills ever!
Dad:  And Phyllis Root... we own a few books by Phyllis Root.  She always manages to land awesome illustrators.
Isaac (age 10):  This is a good book.
Dad:  Lily, why did you pick this one today?  We have lots of library books to choose from.
Lily (age 6):  It has the cutest duck in the world.
Gracie:  The duck is adorable!
Dad:  What do people need to know about Lily and ducks?
Lily:  They are my favorite animal.  I have a whole bunch of ducks in my room, like a collection.
Dad:  How many do you think there are?
Lily:  Uhhhh, 23.
Dad:  23?  That sounds like a very specific number.  Did you count them?
Lily:  No, ho, ho...
Dad:  I bet you have way more than 23.
Lily:  Yah.
Dad:  But we've seen lots of books with ducks.  Why this one?
Lily:  This one has the adorable-est duck in the world!  My favorite duck!
Gracie:  He has such a round head.
Lily:  He's cute.
Isaac:  Yup.
Gracie:  He looks so fluffy.
Dad:  So, there are cute pictures.  Tell me about the story.
Gracie:  It rhymes.
Dad:  But each verse leaves off the last word of the rhyme and instead ends with "dot dot dot..."
Gracie:  So you know that it's going to continue on the next page.
Dad:  Right, and the reader can guess which animal completes the rhyme.
Gracie:  And it also shows the animal's tail on the page before.
Dad:  So between the clues of seeing the tail and anticipating the rhyming word, a little kid can guess the animal that comes next.
Gracie:  The story also lists colors.
Dad:  "Green, green lake."
Gracie:  "Pink, pink roses."
Dad:  Lots of elements go into the cycle.  Every verse has...
Gracie:  A baby animal.
Lily:  A mother animal.
Gracie:  A color.
Dad:  A hanging rhyme-word.
Gracie:  Every one shows a tail.
Isaac:  Except for the kid.
Dad:  Right.  The kid doesn't have a tail.  What about: "Flip," "Flap," "Fly."  Do you remember what that's called?  We talked about it before...
Gracie:  When we reviewed "Jazzmatazz."
Dad:  You're right -- you remember the book.  But what is it called?  "Splish," "Splash," "Swim."  They're not rhyming words.  Do the ends of the words sound the same?
Gracie:  Nope.
Dad:  "Ziggle," "Zaggle."  What's the same?
Gracie:  The beginnings.
Dad:  And that's called?
Gracie:  Wonga-snozzer...
Dad:  Not wongasnozzer.
Lily:  Wichitak?
Isaac:  It's... that one thingie.
Dad:  It's called "allit...."
Gracie:  Alliteration!
Dad:  You remembered!
Gracie:  ALLITERATION!!!  Yeah!!!
Dad:  2 points for Gracie.
Gracie:  Alliteration!  Alliteration!
Dad:  Can you guys make up some new alliteration?  Actually, let's make up our own verse.  "In the..."  wait, where should we be?
Isaac:  In the jungle.
Dad:  And what color should the jungle be?
Lily:  Green.
Dad:  "In the green, green jungle where the bushes grow..."
Lily:  High.
Dad:  "...high, 'Look,' says the..."
Gracie:  Monkey.
Dad:  "...'Look,' says the baby monkey, I see a..."
Lily:  "Fly!"
Gracie:  Hee hee hee hee!
Dad:  I see a tsetse fly that's going to bite me and give me diseases!
Kids:  Ha ha ha...
Dad:  "...'Bite,' says the tsetse fly..."
Gracie:  "Bite, bite, bite!"
Dad:  " the mama helps the tsetse fly..."  now we've got to come up with some alliteration.
Gracie:  "Bitty buggy bite."
Dad:  There you go.
Gracie:  Yea!
Dad:  So, do you think that's the sequel?  We'll have David Walker draw a book that has monkeys and tsetse flies?
Isaac:  That give monkeys diseases!
Gracie:  "In the green, green jungle where the bushes grow high, 'Look!' says the baby monkey, 'I see a fly!'  'Bite!' says the tsetse fly, 'Bite, bite, bite!'  So the mama helps the baby take a bitty buggy bite."
Dad:  Ahh, lovely.
Isaac:  And then they give him diseases.
Gracie:  And the monkey gets diseases and dies!  Hah hah ha!
Dad:  Oh, wonderful.  Silliness from all.  Now, Isaac, who is "Flip, Flap, Fly" for?  Is it for 10 year olds?
Isaac:  Naw.
Dad:  Do you like it anyway?  Now, that's a good question...  Why do a 10 year old and an 8 year old have a blog reviewing books like "Flip, Flap, Fly"?  Is it weird, or is it good, that you guys still like picture books?
Isaac:  I like picture books.
Dad:  Why?
Isaac:  Because the paintings are cool.  I like learning different ways to paint -- how people paint and draw... and techniques.
Dad:  So you're learning techniques as an artist?
Isaac:  Yeah.  And because picture books are just cool, and I like them.
Gracie:  I'm learning how to make things look cute.  These animals are adorable!
Dad:  So what did you learn?  What does David Walker do to make them cute?
Gracie:  He makes things round.
Dad:  Right!  Good observation!  And how about the eyes?
Lily:  They are all little dots.
Dad:  And where does he put the eyes?
Gracie:  He puts them right by the mouth.
Dad:  He puts them down low so the animal has a big...
Isaac:  Forehead.
Dad:  Right.  Big foreheads make things look cute.  Some people might freak out about mice in real life.  So artists have to know tricks and secrets to make them cute.  And what did you guys just discover the trick is?
Gracie:  Big foreheads, tiny dots, and round heads.
Lily:  Little ball-heads.
Dad:  So even big kids can learn things by taking time to look at picture books, huh?
Gracie:  The people who made this book did a really good job.  This is an adorable book of animal cuteness.

snake, mouse, and duck, by Gracie

fish, otter, and snake, by Isaac

duck and boy, by Lily

Author: Phyllis Root
Illustrator: David Walker
Published, 2009: Candlewick Press
Like it?  Find it


Heidi Noel said...

Those are very good drawings. Nice way to incorporate the things you observed from the artwork in the book.

My son is "too old" for picture books, but he loves them still, too. Probably for the same reasons, but also because they give him ideas for his own stories and play. (The question made me curious too, so I had to check.)

Boni Ashburn said...

I love that you address the picture book vs. age issue. My kids are 8, 8 and 13 and we still read picture books for bedtime. I think they all get different things out of every reading, even young PBs like Flip Flap Fly (which my kids all, by the way, liked too). I think picture books help kids develop a good ear for rhyme, language, pacing, and story-arc that are so easy to see in the short confines of a picture book and will help them become more critical readers and writers as they get older.

ElizT said...

I like that water, lily! [or Waterlily]

Kelly H-Y said...

The cover alone makes me want to snatch up this book! Great drawings and super information!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Yay for picture books for all ages!

Mary Lee said...

How fun to listen in on your family chat!