Friday, August 31, 2012

Book #244: Guinea Pigs Far and Near by Kate Duke

Image from
Learn about the concepts of far, near, above, below, here, and there in this lighthearted book full of guinea pigs. With their tiny eyes and round, cuddly bodies, these guineas pigs set off on a series of adventures around the sunlit countryside.

The text features one word per panel, which explains the action or relationship between characters and items. Duke’s illustrations set in one or two panels per page, not only convey the concept stated in the spare text, they also tell episodic stories. The action centers on the smallest guinea pig, a joyful and expressive little guy easily identifiable in his red and white striped shirt. The humorous episodes involve interactions that young children will understand, such as wearing your shirt inside out, losing a pet, and sharing snacks. Each incident has a humorous ending that will have adults and kids alike laughing.

Use this book for a lapsit or toddler storytime about opposites. Try pairing it with Where is the Green Sheep? or one of the many concept books by written by Marthe Jocelyn and illustrated by Tom Slaughter, such as Over Under or One Some Many (Scroll to the middle of the page). Try pairing it with rhymes like Very Very Tall. This is also a great opportunity to play the classic Sesame Street clip of Grover explaining near and far.  I will admit I have a soft spot for lovable old Grover.

Check out Duke’s website, which has a delightful section on how she makes her art that kids will enjoy.And if you just can't get enough of guinea pig books, check out Duke's other books featuring the cuddly creatures.


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