Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wordplay and Wishful Thinking

My older daughter's kindergarten class has been studying the works of Lois Ehlert.  So when we spotted her latest book, Rrralph, when we were out buying birthday gifts, I couldn't resist her pleas to buy it, despite my admonition that we weren't going to buy anything for ourselves.  It didn't hurt that she, unprompted, suggested we donate it to her class in honor of her upcoming birthday.

Ms. Ehlert's distinctive collage art is appealing as always (children will have fun identifying the found objects, such as zippers and soda can tabs, which make up the dog's teeth and nose), but what makes this book different from her others is the wordplay involved.  The unseen, unnamed narrator (I'm sure for some reason that she is a girl) is convinced her dog can talk.  Example after example follows, with the dog responding correctly to questions posed by her owner.  Is it just coincidence that all those answers are homophones for dog sounds like woof and ruf, such as when the dog informs his owner that he is on the "roof" of his doghouse?

My daughter, with a few hints from me, got the joke.  We'll see how it goes over with her class in a few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea of your daughter's! Wouldn't it be wonderful if every child did that in our country!