Thursday, February 4, 2021

Review: What Makes a Yak Laugh by J.D. Coddington and H. Drew


by J.D. Coddington & H. Drew
Illustrated by Asridale
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8

Rebus is a cranky old yak who has never laughed. The animals of Molak put this to the test to find out once and for all—what exactly makes a yak laugh?



                                                 * easy as a read-aloud with words clear to see
                                                 * humorous
                                                 * variety of animals doing silly things
                                                 * lovely message...even if you don't have a yak

MY TIDBITS             

Faced with a very serious, non-smiling yak, these animals are in for a task to see if a smile hides underneath his lumps.

Rebus is a yak. A very serious yak, who never ever laughs...let alone smiles. He's not mean, but refuses to show an ounce of glee as he heads into town. The animals have decided that's enough and come up with a plan. Chosen as the judge for their talent show, the yak sits and watches one act after the other. Some are funny. Some rank as super sweet. But not a single one seems to interest the yak, let alone bring out even a whisper of a smile.

This is a book, which will capture the attention of kids as they sit and listen and laugh at the animals' attempts to make Rebus the yak smile. I appreciate that Rebus never comes across as particularly mean or evil spirited, nor is he overly unkind or kind. Listeners are sure to recognize an adult they've run across in Rebus. It's the kind of adult kids usually aren't sure how to deal with and often see as mean simply because they are grumpy. This book shows that grumpiness does not equal bad, and it does so in a very subtle way.

The illustrations are bright and bold, allowing the animals' antics to hit clearly and hold all the ridiculousness they need. They accompany the text nicely and will have listeners watching very closely as the tale moves along. The text is fitting for the age group and written in rhyme. While the tale flows well, the rhyme isn't quite as smooth. Still, the story comes across, and young listeners won't be distracted enough to miss the giggles and smiles each page will produce.

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