Park, Linda Sue. Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs. Picture Book. Jennifer Black Reinhardt, Illus. Clarion, 03/2016. pp. $16.99. 978-0-544-39101-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 1-4.
Eighteen animals are joined with their homonymic and homographic verbs, sometimes doubled, sometimes tripled, in this excellent work of wordplay. “Flounders flounder” depicts fish flipping along with speech bubbles: “whoopsy daisy;” “whoops;” “I’m spinning out of control!” The spread for “Slugs slug slugs” features slugs engaging in boxing matches. Each spread also includes a definition of the verb: “to yak=to talk.” What makes this book stand out is that only words that look and sound the same are included. The imaginative watercolor and ink illustrations clearly portray the meaning of the text and will be wholly appreciated by young readers as well as older English learners. Additionally, back matter includes an etymological chart of animal names and actions. Pair with Barretta’s Zoola Palooza: A Book of Homographs (H. Holt, 2011) for more wordplay fun.
Dayni Kuo, Oakland PL