ForeWord Reviews

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A Clue For You

Tail in the Teapot

Foreword Review

Fido feels like having fun, so he starts a playful game of hide-and-seek around the colorful farmhouse scenes in Palmer’s book, A Clue For You. Two playmates chase each other through the yard, giving clues to small readers in the form of both language and pictures. Children can try to find Fido themselves, and become personally involved in the game. Using rhymes and a game most children are familiar with, this book is good for children to read individually at a desk or with a group in a library setting.

“Tail in the treetop, tail in the tiny toolshed, tail in the turnips”: The clues cleverly use language, and an extra clue is added through the use of Fingerspelling in American Sign Language. Children are encouraged to participate in the story by not only looking for the rascally cat who is leading his friend, William, on such a merry game, but also by learning another language. This prompts full engagement by children with the story.

A previous winner of ForeWord’s Book of the Year Award, author and illustrator Palmer uses gentle coloring in brown, green, and blue shades that are often used in quiltmaking to draw the eye and capture the imaginations of children and adults. The text is written in bold on one page, and then uses the Gallaudet font of fingers signing the alphabet. Alternating pages are richly colored tapestries that children will be drawn to again and again. Librarians, teachers, and parents will all appreciate the soft hues and shapes used to follow Fido as he romps through the farmyard with his friend, William.

Suddenly the game ends when a misstep puts Fido into a pond and, as a friend should, William promptly goes to rescue him. Children are encouraged not only to learn in this book, but to be friends, and friends help each other stay safe. Adults will not be surprised when children take this book from the shelf to spend more time with the colorful escapades of Fido and William.

Karen L. Sadler