Mack, J. 2013. Ah ha! San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
Those four letters can mean so many things. This book is about a frog who is escaping dangers, first being a little boy who wants to catch him. He thinks he’s safe on a rock, but it turns out to be a hungry turtle. What he thinks to be a log is in fact a hungry alligator. And when he escapes that, climbing what he thinks to be reeds, he’s actually found a hungry flamingo. Just when he thinks he’s escaped being eaten, he finds himself right back where he started: in the little boy’s jar. Ah ha! says the little boy, and Ha Ha! the frog says to the hungry animals, as they watch him being carted off. As the boy carries him along, the frog gets the last laugh, Ah ha! he says as the lid to the jar slips off, allowing him his freedom.
The only words used are Ah ha, ha ha, and aaah. There are not scores for this book, but I think it is easily a Pre-K-3 picture book.
A lot happens in this book with just the manipulation of those four letters: Ah ha! Ha ha! Aahh! The illustrations are what give those words context, where Aahh can be both an expression of fear and of contentment. The complexity of this book is very low: the story follows one character in a chronological order, and the language is limited to one or two straight forward words. The complexity comes in interpreting the illustrations and how they add to the context of the words.
Curriculum Tie Ins:
Could be good for basic spelling and phonetics, how letters put in different positions make different sounds, and how those words mean different things in different contexts. Also to a lesser extent teaches about animals, and that humans should leave them alone (the frog is unhappy in the jar, and contented when he is left alone in the pond).
1.0 General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).
1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts
a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background
b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres
c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations
3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.
Author’s website: http://www.jeffmack.com/