Book review: A Greyhound a Groundhog, by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Jenkins, Emily. A Greyhound a Groundhog. Ill. Chris Appelhans. Schwartz & Wade. 2017. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-553-49805-9. Ages 3-6. P9Q10

jenkins-greyhound-groundhogFriendship and tongue-twisters join in this developing relationship between canine and rodent as they unexpectedly meet and start playing before dropping from exhaustion.

Verdict: Wordplay makes this a delight for reading aloud, and young people will delight in the energetic and minimalist watercolor and pencil illustrations set against white. Joy permeates the dancing text in an encourage of imagination while it demands re-reading.

January 2017 review by Nel Ward.

 

Jenkins, Emily. A greyhound, a groundhog. Illustrated by Chris Appelhans. Schwartz & Wade, 2017. Unpaged. $17.99. ISBN 9780553498059. Ages 3-6.  P8Q8

A greyhound and a groundhog come together for a game of chase ending in a swirl of butterflies.  Emily Jenkins’ use of  near rhymes and syllable patterns creates a tongue-twisting poem, but Chris Appelhans’ flowing watercolor and pencil illustrations truly carry the story.  The pictures begin with a simple gray oval sleeping greyhound, progress to round shapes, and flow through the next pages into arpeggios as the hound and groundhog chase each other through an explosion of butterflies.  Appelhans’ experience as a film illustrator shows in the flow and movement, even constrained in still illustrations.

Verdict: Though the wordplay did not make me truly happy (see Emily Gravett’s Orange Pear Apple Bear for an example of four simple words rearranged to show quite different meanings—as a more successful example), the illustrations truly sang.  Recommended for sharing with very young children, and for preschool, kindergarten, and public library collections.

November 2016 review by Jane Cothron.

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