Lois Ehlert sees as treasure. With an artist's practiced eye for detail she views everyday items as potential parts for her bold, creative collages. Bits and pieces of our natural world make their way into the pages of her books. Ehlert sees possibilities everywhere. Her newest offering, RRRalph, is a classic example of her artistic talents and her less-is-more writing style.
As the story begins an unseen narrator states, I bet you won't believe me, but our dog can talk. On the opposite page sits the dog in question. Made of torn and cut textured black and white papers sporting a multicolored striped collar with a zipper for a mouth, a flip-top from a can for a nose and button-like eyes he eagerly awaits the narrator's first of many questions, What's your name? Turning the page a two page view meets our eyes with our doggie character upright on his two legs as he speaks: RRRALPH RALPH
Throughout the story our unobserved speaker continues to pose questions which can be only answered as canines can. Vivid colors as if spilled from a box of crayons are the backdrop for the numerous poses of Ralph and his varied forms of dog speak. Ehlert's genius as a storyteller is revealed in the matched responses and queries; What's on that tree? BARK BARK BARK
Whether shared one on one or as a read aloud RRRalph is a rousing romp inviting reader participation. Trust me, listeners will sit and stay once this tale begins.
Beneath the interesting author's note about the book's inspiration title information states the illustrations for this book were made from zippers, wood, buttons, twine, metal, tree bark, screws, hand-painted and handmade papers, and textile fragments.
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