Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ribbit! by Bender and Bender

Was skulking around the Barnes and Noble (our corporate sponsor-- parents, go there so they give our school free stuff!) waiting to enter a chance to win a school visit from Rick Riordan when I met the lovely Bender family, who were there to talk about their great new picture book, Ribbit!: Flip and See Who Froggie Can Be. (Don't get distracted by the game on the web site:)

Obviously, this is too young for the middle school, but if you have to give any gifts to younger children, they would find this endlessly fascinating. Even my 6th grade son was enthralled this morning. "Really? 3,000 combinations?" he said. He was still working on Cowboy Chad when I left. The illustrations are awesome-- bright, shiny and realistic but with that slickness that computer manipulation adds that makes you want to touch the picture to see if you can feel the lace. The authors are primarily photographic artists ( and admitted that the words for the book came a little late.

That would be the only thing I would change. They did a credible job, but I'm a stickler for scansion and rhyme being perfect. It would also be especially clever if the second and fourth lines of each accompanying verse ended in an "ee" sound, so that even when you flipped the pages, the verses would rhyme. Something like "Cowboy Chad/with a smart goatee/rounds up steers/ and shouts 'Oooo-eee!" and "Gorgeous Greta/ so pert and pretty/ sings in the opera/ of a major city". It would be a lot of fun playing with the word and rhyme combinations, and would add another layer of silliness to a wonderful book.

It sounds like there may be other works in the offing, so I'll look forward to those with interest.

I bought a copy of Ribbit for my brother. Maybe now he will give me back The Ele-trich and the deck of Mixies cards.

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