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*In This Book* by Fani Marceau, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
In This Book
by Fani Marceau, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
Ages 3-5 64 pages Chronicle August 2014 Hardcover    

The word “in” is the inspiration for Marceau’s (Panorama) newest picture book. This oversized book starts with a double-page spread of a cloudy sky. “I am in the sky, said the cloud.” The next two pages feature a monkey and a spider.
I am in the tree, said the monkey.

I am in the web, said the spider.
These picture make you think of being safe at home. But then you start to think of the word “in” differently when you see the contrast between being a train in a dark tunnel and a tiny mushroom growing in an uncluttered forest. “In” feels confining in the tunnel but freeing in the outdoors.

A butterfly that is in a net has less freedom than a tiger in the jungle. Some people are “in” places for a job (I am in the kitchen, said the chef. / I am in the bus, said the driver.) People and animals are featured in the book, but food (I am in the oven, said the meat), objects (I am in the grass, said the ball) and fantastical elements (I am in the painting, said the princess) are included, too.

Many of the close-up drawings evoke feelings of familiarity: I am in the shoe, said the pebble, or I am in the dark, said the child. There are no quotation marks around the dialogue and the sentence structure is repetitive, but this is a captivating book even for older children.

To make this book interactive, children could be asked to help read the book by looking at the artwork and predicting the words that appear at the bottom of the page. Caregivers and teachers could use what’s on the page to teach kids about animal habitats and collective nouns, occupations, and as illustrated so beautifully on the last page, the comfort and joy that comes with reading. They could also ask kids to write and draw their own examples after the book ends.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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