Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review - "Is Everyone Ready For Fun?"

Have I extolled the virtues of Jan Thomas lately?  Shame on me if I haven’t.  The glorious Ms. Thomas writes the most wonderful read-alouds, right up there with Mo Willems and the good Dr. Seuss himself.  Her Rhyming Dust Bunnies is a particular favorite of mine, along with Can You Make a Scary Face?.  The wonderful thing about Ms. Thomas’ wonderful books is the interactive element, and her newest, Is Everyone Ready for Fun? is another perfect example of her wonderfulness. (I know I’m stuck on the word, but she really is wonderful.)
In her latest book, Cow and his friends come across Chicken’s little red sofa.  It’s a nice little red sofa.  Comfy looking.  So what do three cows do with a little red sofa?  They jump up and down on it, of course.  Naturally, Chicken is horrified.  She quickly admonishes the cows that there is no jumping on her sofa.  But there is more fun to be had, and the cows try dancing and wiggling on the poor sofa until finally Chicken has had it.  In an outburst, she declares that “There will be no more JUMPING, DANCING or WIGGLING on my sofa!!”.  Clearly there’s only one thing left to do.  Naptime!
Just reading through this book for the first time, I couldn’t wait to share it with an audience, particularly a young, wiggly audience.  This book calls for jumping up and down, dancing around and wiggling to your heart’s content (“Let’s all wiggle to and fro” the cows command), and it makes the activity not only accepted at storytime, but encouraged.  It’s good to learn to be still for stories, but it’s good to get your groove on sometimes, too.  I particularly love the set-up of each new action, with a close up on Cow saying, “It’s time to…”.  It will be fun to draw out that ellipses and make the children wait for their next action command.  Thomas’ art is perfect for storytimes as well, with bright colors and heavy outlines and bold text.  Chicken is a new addition to Thomas’ barnyard of friends, and she’s just fantastic.  Diamond shaped beak, half a broken egg shaped body, her arms waving back and forth in distress.  I hope we see her again, along with Cow, Duck, Pig and the whole gang.  I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those Dust Bunnies either!

Is Everyone Ready For Fun? by Jan Thomas
2011, Beach Lane Books
Library copy

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