________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 18. . . .January 20, 2017


Would a, Could a?

Laura Escalante. Illustrated by Anthony Berardo.
Oakville, ON: Rock's Mills Press, 2013.
24 pp., stapled pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-77244-009-6.

Kindergarten-grade 5 / Ages 5-10.

Review by Aileen Wortley.

** /4



For many years, I have heard people asking two important questions. One about the groundhog’s ability to grind… And the other about the woodchuck’s skill at chucking. Now that makes me wonder about so many things…Like…How many screws would a screwdriver drive if a screwdriver could drive screws? As many screws as a screwdriver could drive if a screwdriver would drive screws.


This small book is a series of tongue twisters using the traditional Mother Goose Woodchuck verse and the Groundhog nursery rhyme as inspiration. Each double page spread contains a newly conceived tongue twister and a response accompanied by illustrations which reveal both a literal and figurative interpretation- a visual pun.

internal art     There is some ambivalence as to the age group the book is intended for. Described as suitable for ‘kids of all ages’, its format makes it more appropriate for children aged between 5 and 8 while some of the content will be confusing for this age group. This might have been obviated by including the original rhymes they are based on instead of merely hinting at them. Even the introductory remarks seem rather sophisticated to be coming from the child depicted.

internal art     However, the concept has potential, and children aged between 7 and 10 will enjoy tripping themselves up over the tongue twisters and puzzling over the double entendres as depicted in words and bright cartoon-style illustrations. Children may have fun with some of the playful aspects of this picture book, but overall the book’s impact is slight; however, it could be used as a marginal addition to collections if funds permit.


Aileen Wortley, a retired librarian, lives in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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