Here’s a fun one for Perfect Picture Book Friday!
Title: Du Iz Tak?
Written and illustrated by: Carson Ellis
Candlewick, 2016, fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: nature, insects, life cycle, plants, language
Du iz tak?
Brief synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com)
Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down—booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard. Su!
Activities and Resources:
Translate the text.
Use a plot diagram to analyze the story.
Find a spot in a yard or garden. Imagine what’s happening that you can’t see. Write or draw: Use a plot diagram to plan the parts of your story. Who is your main character? What does he/she/it want? What happens to cause a problem? How is it solved? What clues can you put in the illustrations?
Pair this book with The Night Gardener by Terry Fan. (This book looks up.)
Why I like this book:
As a person who loves language and linguistics, I found this book fascinating. It’s almost like a wordless book, but better! Use what you know about language – capitals for names, punctuation, etc. Having taught ESL for many years, I can’t help but think that what we encounter with this text is much like English Language Learners (ELLs) deal with on a moment to moment basis, granted this is a simple version of it. This format requires that we explore the context and use what we know in a search for meaning. Many skills come to the forefront. This would be great fun, leveling the playing field, in a diverse classroom with second language learners from varied backgrounds.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.