Janik Coat
ISBN 9781419715143
Abrams Appleseed, 2015.
5 stars
Keywords: cause-and-effect concepts janik-coat opposites rhyme rhymoceros

by Janik Coat

With a variety of rhyming pairings featuring a blue rhinoceros, Janik Coat introduces preschoolers to sound patterns, cause and effect, and naming their feelings.

Coat's compositions are a triumph of deceptive simplicity. Her rhino hero appears in the same spot on nearly every page, breaking her pattern only to make a concept clear. A crescent moon hovers over the blue rhino against a jet-black background on the left; on the right, a white background shows off a red helium balloon ("moon/balloon"). This could lead organically to a conversation about the phases of the moon, night and day, and more. A "shower" on the left of the next spread might well result in the "flower" on the right. In another pairing, the rhino takes umbrage beneath a lemon tree's "shade" on the left; on the right, the hero sips "lemonade" beneath a lemon-yellow sun. Coat uses tactile experiences, too: "bumpy" shows the outline of the rhino with circular bumps rising from the page, and "furry" features a cutout of the rhino with a velvety texture in its place. Children will enjoy meeting the pup the rhino walks ("caring") and that (on the opposite page), rides on rhino's back as he walks a tightrope between buildings ("daring"); the pup also reappears when rhino is "sad" to give a lick that makes the rhino "glad."

These understated couplings of words explore concepts and causation that foster further exploration. Bravo!
Join Newsletter