Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2010 February #1 A young boy relates in rhyme all the things his dad knows the names of; e.g., "He knows which mosses are the fuzziest, / He knows which insects are the buzziest, / And when we're sailing on the sea / He tells the names of fish to me." The sprightly watercolor-and-gouache illustrations put oomph into the tableaus; for instance, the spread for "He knows the names of dogs" portrays a female dog walker with seven irascible dogs in tow. In each example, the specific names in the category are not given, which could have provided a guessing/participation element. For example, while father and son paint a wall together, it is said that Dad knows seven words that all mean blue, yet those words aren't named; rather, seven different shades of blue are daubed across the top of the page. But each event demonstrates a warm and caring relationship between father and son while communicating the boy's palpable sense of pride. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2010 April #3
While cheerful, this book is also a memorial to Yolen's late husband. Freely drawn by Jorisch in pen and watercolor, an effortlessly confident father guides his mop-headed child through a series of adventures. On an amusement ride, he points out astrological marvels, and their travels often center on the natural world ("He knows which mosses are the fuzziest,/ He knows which insects are the buzziest"). Yolen's easeful rhymes and Jorisch's warm illustrations craft a bighearted tribute to fathers' seemingly infinite capacities for informationâand their willingness to share it. Ages 4â8. (Apr.)
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School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2010 March
PreS-Gr 1âThis paean to fatherhood is not really a story but rather a list of all of the things the narrator's father knows, ending with, "He points out everything we see/And teaches all the names to me." It is simply a poetic love song and as such could be very effective. Unfortunately, the rhyme scheme is occasionally uneven. While lines like "My father knows the names of things,/Each different sort of bell that rings," work fine, they are followed by "And stones,/And knows the names of planets,/Stars,/And even human bones." The mixed-media illustrations, however, are wonderful. The boy and his dad exude love and companionship as they paint walls, study bugs, and fly in fanciful airplanes together. The pictures are full of movement and whimsy, and the final scene shows the child in bed in a darkened room, dreaming, with his father looking in on him. The paintings are detailed and varied and do an impressive job of depicting the imagery in Yolen's poem.âAmy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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