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 Yaks yak : animal word pairs
 Author: Park, Linda Sue

 Publisher:  Clarion (2016)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [40] p., col. ill., 23 cm.

 BTSB No: 700292 ISBN: 9780544391017
 Ages: 4-7 Grades: K-2

 Subjects:
 English language -- Homonyms -- Fiction
 Animals -- Fiction

Price: $20.76

Summary:
Presents animals acting out the verbs made from their names, including hogs hogging, slugs slugging, and other creatures demonstrating homographs, words with different meanings that are spelled and pronounced the same.

 Illustrator: Reinhardt, Jennifer Black

Reviews:
   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/15)
   School Library Journal (+) (12/01/15)
   Booklist (02/01/16)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/16)
 The Hornbook (00/03/16)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/01/2015 Gr 1–4—Animal and word lovers alike will enjoy this clever take on homographs, in this case, verbs that are spelled and pronounced like animal names. Each spread features a comical illustration of animals engaged in unusual activities. A short sentence such as "Flounders flounder" or "Dogs dog dogs" appears on the verso, with a definition of the verb on the recto. Thus, yaks yak over tea, quails quail at an imposing dragon kite, bats bat baseballs in a midnight sky, and pairs of slugs slug slugs with red boxing gloves. A final spread offers a chart of the word pairs followed by the derivation of the animal's name as well as that of the action word. In some cases the verb refers to the animal's behavior, such as ape, parrot, and ram. In other cases, one seemingly has nothing to do with the other, as in quail, steer, and kid. The vibrant, amusing watercolor-and-ink illustrations introduce youngsters to some words and animals they may not know. They are occasionally enhanced with funny speech bubbles such as upside down flounders remarking, "I did not mean to do that" or relentless badgers begging an apple, "Be kind…give me the apple…you don't need…[it]…. You could stand to lose a few pounds…." or greedy hogs hoarding piles of apples with signs like "MINE ALL MINE!" Other whimsical touches, such as a small fish fishing for The Book of Compliments will offer knowing readers a chuckle. VERDICT An original and fun way to build vocabulary.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/01/2016 The English language is a curious creature, and Newbery medalist Park’s (A Single Shard, 2001) delightful concept book highlights particular linguistic oddities. Yaks are not known for being particularly verbose, so why yak means to talk remains a mystery. Similarly, bats do not bat at balls, nor do slugs slug one another in a fight, though Reinhardt’s comical illustrations would have us believe they could if they wanted to. But some animal-verb homograph pairs are quite reasonably matched. Bugs do indeed bug (people), hogs have a reputation of being greedy, and crows can sound like they are boasting. Every page depicts the animal enacting the verb and includes an inset box providing the definition. Details in the ink-and-watercolor illustrations, like a fish hooking a book of compliments on its fishing line, supplement the humor and bring attention to the joys of wordplay. The end matter contains even more information about the etymology of the words, linking them to possible origins. Young readers will love this hilarious, informative book. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Eighteen lively spreads match nouns to their homograph verbs, from “Yaks yak” to “Kids kid,” in entertaining scenes. Pairs range from the logical and related (“Rams ram” and “Parrots parrot”) to the coincidentally similar (“Slugs slug slugs” and “Steers steer”), with a definition for the verb included in each spread. The illustrations are visually delightful: the double-page art gives its figures whiskery and characterful linework and dapples the watercolor hues, with text elements (the words of the crowing crows, the annoying utterances of the badgering badgers) often adding additional interest. Too many of the interpretations aren’t conceptually successful, though: the craning cranes and quailing quail look like regular cranes and quail, for instance, and it’s not clear if the aping apes are meant to be aping humans or each other; the definition given for “flounder” (“to be helpless”) is confusing and misleading. It’s still an entertaining concept that could be useful to prompt further ideas in a language arts class; sharp-eyed kids may also enjoy spotting the subtle connections and callbacks in the illustrations. A concluding chart provides the etymology for each noun and verb. DS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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