...NOPE, I'm not telling. Except to say that there's a sweet surprise in the middle of this book that makes everything alright, and it arrives at that delicious moment when the suspense (of a really gentle, kid-friendly kind) is almost too much to take. How delightful to be surprised not just at the end of a story, but mid-way through. I have to admit, despite the visual clues, I didn't see it coming. I also want to mention that the illustrator gets the tone just right. Where the words are a little bit scary, the pictures are a sweet adventure story for young readers.
I love a good rhyming book, and this one works wonderfully well. The skillful, simple rhyme scheme and repeated refrain--"a dark, dark cave"--are perfect for this story.
Reason number two? It's beautifully poetic--a pleasure to read aloud. Listen to this--"Weeds find a way to grow: by the side of a windy road, in a crack in the cellar of a creaky old house, in a tangle of tree roots a the top of a spine of stone." Love, love, love it!
Reason number three? It's nonfiction! Intriguing facts about weeds are conveyed here with a storytelling sensibility. It's a heaping spoonful of sugar over factual, scientific content, presented in a perfectly kid-accessible way.
Reason number four? Lush, whimsical illustrations with sweet characters (a girl and her dog) and a soft color palate punctuated with fun red accents.
Read these two treasures with a child--and enjoy!