Review of When Creature Met Creature

When Creature Met Creature When Creature Met Creature
by John Agard; illus. by Satoshi Kitamura
Preschool, Primary    Scallywag    32 pp.
5/24    9781915252470    $18.99

Creature-of-No-Words is content being “furry. And never in a hurry.” The large, ungainly fellow enjoys his life, and although he doesn’t “know how to say HAPPY” or “YUMMY” or “SAD” (having no words), he expresses himself through body language. Creature-of-Words, on the other hand, loves to use words; when she sees Creature-of-No-Words looking sad, she reaches toward him with outstretched arms and teaches him the word “HUG!” Creature-of-No-Words has a big red nose, his orange body is filled in with squiggly lines, and he’s accompanied by eleven white birds. Creature-of-Words is smaller and redder, with a group of critter companions, including a fox, a cat, a squirrel, and two birds. Part of the book’s fun is noticing the ways all of the animals interact in the illustrations. The text is written in triplets with occasional rhymes and includes such whimsical thoughts as the wish that pebbles would “burst like bubbles.” Kitamura’s paintings use intense color to show the pair living in a varied and beguiling landscape as they find joy together, sometimes sharing words and sometimes cuddled up “just listening to sweet silence.” This tender tale illustrates the ways in which creatures, and humans, are alike and different from one another, especially in communication styles.

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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