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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tweak Tweak, written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. Clarion, Thomas Allen & Son. 2011. $17.99 ages 3 and up

"Can I jump?

No, because you are not a frog.
You are a little elephant. But
you can stomp your foot and
make a big sound.


Oh, I love engaging books that honor the relationship between parent and child (or nurturing adult and child)! In this warm and gentle book from the prolific and thoughtful Eve Bunting, we meet Little Elephant and her Mama. I love the repetitive structure of the is sure to encourage young listeners to read along in quick time. The rhythm adds grace and energy, keeping the reader captivated by the daily walk taken by the two of them. Little Elephant discovers much along the way as Mama patiently answers all questions.
Sergio Ruzzier creates the perfect character...inquisitive, tiny, innocent and trusting that Mama has all the right answers when questions are asked. You just want to pick her up and give her a hug. The soft, round shapes and subdued colors match the gentleness of the story. The delightful spreads that show Little Elephant imagining herself jumping, flying, climbing, swimming and singing are my favorites. His use of soft pastel backgrounds to show Little Elephant trying her hand at previously-unknown abilities and her fantasy forays add the perfect touch!

In the end Mama shows a matching confidence in her daughter, allowing her to lead the way home:

"And Little Elephant led Mama
past the fig tree where the bird sang,
past the place where the butterfly flew,
past the river where the crocodile swam,
past the acacia tree where the monkey climbed,
past the place where the frog jumped,
and all the way home."

How can you not love it?

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