Ellis, Carson – Du Iz Tak?

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Image from amazon.com
  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763665304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763665302

EXCERPT from penguinrandomhouse.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!

Recognitions: 2017 Caldecott Honor Book

Rationale for Inclusion: Not only is Carson Ellis’ artistry without compare, her simple book about the renewal of life is touching in an almost spiritual way. Du Iz Tak takes us through the journey of several bugs exploring their reality, witnessing a flower springing to life and using it as a playhouse. Disasters incur–such as a spider destroying it, or fowl weather tossing and turning it, but as time goes by the flower eventually begins to wilt and dwindle back to the earth. Winter comes to claim nature as it always does, but the very end of the book packs a promise–another shoot of a flower springing up, surprising another bug, as a new flower will grow again. This subtly explains the nature of life in a way that children and adults can both find entertaining and extraordinary. The language Ellis uses to translate this global theme is no language at all–it’s a fictitious phraseology that mirrors the cadence of the English language. Children will be attempting to decipher what the bugs are saying based on the illustrations and their own questions–du iz tak? what is that?–and will have to use critical thinking skills with the vocabulary and language that they already know to come to conclusions. A great asset for early literacy.

Five Questions (plus one) with Carson Ellis by Candlewick Press:

 

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