by Judi Barrett. Illustrated by Ron Barrett. (Macmillan, 1970. ISBN 0689708076. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades PreK-2.
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing is really one sentence with multiple alternative phrases. Why should animals not wear clothing? " because it would be very messy for a pig" and the illustration shows a pig in shirt and tie eating in a pig's usual manner; "because a sheep might find it terribly hot" and the sweating sheep is attired in sweater, muffler and hat. The book is funny, easily understood and easy to interpret. The why/because pattern helps the reader get a running start on finding meaning here.
The book has large print which makes it easier for those children who are beginning to notice how print works. These children are a step beyond those who are still working on plot alone. Big print obviously makes the letters clearer and more distinctive. Some children don't seem to need it so it's not a prerequisite for early books. For others it helps so a few such books should be in the early readers' library.
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