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My Father Knows the Names of Things


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A young boy relates in rhyme all the things his dad knows the names of; e.g., “He knows which mosses are the fuzziest, / He knows which insects are the buzziest, / And when we’re sailing on the sea / He tells the names of fish to me.” The sprightly watercolour-and-gouache illustrations put oomph into the tableaus; for instance, the spread for “He knows the names of dogs” portrays a female dog walker with seven irascible dogs in tow. In each example, the specific names in the category are not given, which could have provided a guessing/participation element. For example, while father and son paint a wall together, it is said that Dad knows seven words that all mean blue, yet those words aren’t named; rather, seven different shades of blue are daubed across the top of the page. But each event demonstrates a warm and caring relationship between father and son while communicating the boy’s palpable sense of pride. Preschool-Grade 2. --Julie Cummins

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