NYPL Staff Pick
A frog has a series of narrow escapes in this lively romp for young readers written using only two letters.
This book is a fun read - it's great for the kids to try and interpret the expressions and come up with the appropriate tone for the only 2 words that are used in the book: Ahhhhh or Ah-Ha.
The same two letters, arranged and rearranged for dramatic effect, make up all of the dialogue in this amphibian adventure. With a satisfied "AAHH," a cheerful green frog lounges on a rock. But then ("AH HA!") a boy captures the frog in a jar ("AAHH!"). The frog escapes the jar, but leaps right into a series of comical close shaves, until - with a jubilant "HA HA!" - he finally reaches safety. The cartoony, colour-saturated illustrations are just as entertaining as the creative wordplay, making Ah Ha! a great pick for high-energy read-alouds. Looking for more animal mayhem with cleverly limited vocabulary? Check out Moo! by David LaRochelle.
Picture books newsletter, November 2013.
Just two letters are used to surprisingly good effect as this frog and his pursuers switch between "ah ha!" and "aaah!". The only variation to this word scheme occurs with the frog's "Ha ha!" near the end.
Scenes too have a duality to them, in moments of calm, the chosen hues are duller, while in images of action, brighter ones are used. As this chase scene progresses, and the tension mounts, the values of the colours intensify to match. The last animal being the brightly plumed flamingo becomes the climax, but he does not manage to catch the frog either. It is a little boy that does, and to distinguish him, he is shown completely shaded with grey, surrounded by a crowning orange of triumph. His resounding "Ah ha!" speaks to his glee at capturing the frog...or so he thinks, this is one slippery frog after all.
This fast-paced chase sequence has little in terms of narrative, but plenty in terms of impact.
gopherguts thinks this title is suitable for 2 years and over
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