As a speech pathologist, I love great picture books that bring kids into the story to interact with repetition, questions and clues. What a wonderful collaboration between author illustrator Mary Maier and speech pathologist Lauren Horton who clearly knows how to get the most language learning out of a story! Owl is invited to Mouse’s surprise birthday party but can’t quite see who is invited due to his broken glasses. Will you help by following the clues and answering the wh-questions? With simply illustrated clues to follow–yellow feathers, splashy feet and says Quack Quack, kids excitedly yelled out, “The duck!” and couldn’t wait to turn the page. With the use of onomatopoeia, the authors introduced each mystery guest with four words, “Hiss, hiss, slither, slide” for the snake and “Splish, splash, flap flap,” for the duck, which were added to the string of words to be repeated as the story continued. Surprise! Finally it’s party time and everyone joins in singing Happy Birthday. Kids liked this book so much (I did too) that we wished there were even more characters added to the story so it wouldn’t end!
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Sherry Artemenko MA, CCC-SLP