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  • Overboard!
  • Deborah Stevenson
Weeks, Sarah Overboard!; illus. by Sam Williams. Harcourt, 2006 [40p] ISBN 0-15-205046-9$14.00 R 18-36 mos.

For many little ones, gravity is the best toy of all, and so it is for our featured bunny, who likes nothing better than to pitch things "overboard!" Rhyming couplets and quatrains, sometimes enhanced with onomatopoeia, describe a jettisoning of mealtime peaches, bathtime rubber ducky, bedtime jammies, and so on, until the bunny finally gets overambitious in trying to chuck stuff down the stairs and takes its own tumble overboard. Fortunately, Mama is there to soothe the startled bun and to finally settle baby into bed—from where a collection of items are flung in one last glorious "overboard!" The interruptions to the pattern make the pace stumble a little, but listeners will nonetheless adore this encouragement of one of their favorite pastimes; they'll also relish chiming in on the sound effects for the peaches ("Splat! Splat! Splat!"), the farewell to the rubber ducky ("Bye! Bye! Bye!"), [End Page 331] and the other valedictory noises as well as the gleeful repetitions of "Overboard!" The charcoal, pastel, and watercolor illustrations counterpoint sweetness with toddler vigor; figures are smoothly outlined in thick, regular lines, while regular planes of vivid playroom colors are softened slightly with gentle lilac shading and a touch of pettability in the dappled brown of Bunny's fur. Perky-eared Bunny is appealingly toylike, and audiences will also appreciate his lively pal, the white mouse, who's clearly a partner in hurling crime. The layout helpfully abets the crime by setting up the circumstances on the recto and revealing the "Overboard!" punchline and chaos upon the page turn, which conveniently cues those keen to join in. This will be an irresistible toddler readaloud: be sure to first clear the decks of breakables while leaving listeners with plenty of "Overboard" fodder for maximum participatory pleasure.



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pp. 331-332
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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