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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Mixed Up, words by Bob Raczka and pictures by Chad Cameron. Carolrhoda Books, Thomas Allen & Son. 2011. $23.95 ages 5 and up

"Apples turn orange.
Pumpkins turn red.
Leaves float up into
blue skies overhead.

Bears gather nuts.
Geese hibernate.

Squirrels fly south in
big figure eights."

Kids are going to love pointing out all the 'mistakes' that are evident in this silly book about all things fall. The reader will have to stop on numerous occasions to listen to their observations concerning text and art.

Bob Raczka knows about fall, and proves it by using all of the iconic features of the season in this full-of-fun book where everything is mixed up. He misses nothing. The cow being blown through a windy sky is our first clue that all is not as usual. We aren't even at the title page when that happens. Just wait ... there is so much more to see!

The first turn of the page offers a calendar of sorts - its months include Septober, Octember, Nocemnber and Devember. Try sorting that out with little listeners. I love the geese hibernating, clock at hand and totally oblivious to all the action above ground. I could go on and on, and kids will. Holidays are included and you won't believe what trick-or-treaters are getting this year in their treat bags.

The rhymes are meant to be silly. The art, created digitally and including collage elements, is as oddball as the text and invites readers to look further as they discover that there is more to the images that what is described in the text.  The days are full of wind and fun, the evenings a tad spooky.

When the reading comes to an end, an invitation is extended:

 "Go back and find all the
 things that aren't right."

Clever and comical, this book will certainly be requested time and again!

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