Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: How Do You Wokka-Wokka?

Summary: Some days you wake up and you just gotta wokka. Wokka what? Wokka-wokka! It’s about movement. It’s about dance. It’s about shimmy-shakin’, be-boppin’, and more! It’s about gathering friends and joining the party. The creative team behind MY FATHER THE DOG returns with a call-and-response for preschoolers, an exuberant invitation to be part of the fun -- and show your stuff!

Say "HEY!" to your neighbors and get your dance on! Jazzy rhythms, silly rhymes, and welcoming images are guaranteed to entice little readers. -- Candlewick Press

HOW DO YOU WOKKA-WOKKA? by Elizabeth Bluemle and illustrated by Randy Cecil is a delightful book for preschooler and kindergartners. Since Booking Son is the ideal age for the book, I was very excited to read it to him yesterday afternoon. I definitely enjoyed reading this fun book, and I liked the message about just jumping in and doing the wokka-wokka with all your neighbors.

While Booking Son liked the book, he didn't go so far as to say that he loved it. When I asked him some questions about it, he said that the thought the book was silly -- I think that was the intent! He also said that he liked some of the crazy, mixed-up words and that I sounded funny when I read it. I asked him if he liked to wokka-wokka, and he just kind of shrugged. I thought that was ironic because he often copies his older sister while she practices her hip-hop dances!

Besides the cute story with the catchy rhythms, I also liked the appearance of the book. I thought the illustrations were very cute, and I loved how the illustrator managed to capture the essence of the fun times with the drawings of the kids. I also really liked the large font and the way the words curved around the pictures.

As a mother, I really appreciated the message in this story. I'm not sure my son picked up on it the first time we read it, but I like that kids will see that it's okay to just wokka-wokka -- by that I mean, it's okay to be yourself and let your personality shine. Another terrific thing about this book was that the story took place in an urban environment and the kids were of diverse ethnic backgrounds. I appreciated that the story showed a bunch of different people coming together, letting loose and just having fun.

I recommend HOW DO YOU WOKKA-WOKKA? for preschoolers, especially as a read-aloud book during story time. I think catchy jazz-like phrases and the message that you can show your individuality will appeal to many youngsters as well as adults. Thanks to The Picnic Basket and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.


bermudaonion said...

Vance probably would have acted the same way and he loved to dance when he was young!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It's so great that you have a young reader to give a different perspective on books than we have as adults. I so admire authors who can "remember" what appealed as a child or even teen!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a cute one. My daughter would have loved it when she was little.

Jenners said...

Sounds like Reading Son is a little "too cool" for the Wokka Wokka!