Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza

For some reason I always default to thinking authors I loved as a child are dead, even though I'm not really that old. For some reason I had relegated Keiko Kasza to this category and when I realized she was still making books (and I'd missed a bunch) I was surprised and delighted. My Lucky Day remains my favorite, but her later works are fun too.

A squirrel with a snazzy red hat leaves his hat behind to cover the hole with his precious acorn. But while the squirrel is gone, the hat blows away and the adventures begin. First a bird uses it as a nest, then it becomes a boat, a clown nose and finally lands back in the spot it began. Just when you think the story is over and the squirrel trots off having eaten his acorn and retrieved his hat, someone finds something else he's left behind. "Finders, keepers!" he happily declares.

Kasza's colorful cartoons are still as funny and sweet as in her first books. Across a green and blue background of sky, grass and water, bright spots of color stand out. A flower, an exotic bird, plump red ladybugs on orange poppies and of course the bright red hat itself.

The smooth circular plot makes an excellent read-aloud, keeping the audience guessing what will happen next. It's a story that lends itself to extension activities, especially storytelling, as well as interactive reading since kids will be eager to look for the details in the artwork.

Verdict: This is what I think of as a good, solid storytime selection. It doesn't have the inspired humor of My Lucky Day and there's nothing in the artwork or story that really jumps out at you, but it's a well-written and illustrated selection that will appeal to children and parents and can be used in several different ways in storytimes. These are the type of books I think of as the filling of the collection, the bulk that fills in between the classics and outstanding titles that form the foundation and the flashy and bestselling titles that are the frosting on the cake.

ISBN: 9780399168987; Published 2015 by G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library


Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for this thoughtful review.
You mentioned that this book could be used in many different ways during story--some examples would be helpful and interesting.

Jennifer said...

What was I thinking when I wrote that, hmmm....I think I was thinking of having the kids look for different things in the story, kind of a seek and find and/or doing something with writing your own circular stories or making an interactive flannelboard. Honestly though, what with having written this some time ago and being on jury duty this week, I have no idea!