I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!)
Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016, Ages 2-5
This story introduces the five senses to young children. Each section focuses on one of the senses, using text and pictures to describe activities in which each sense is used. The activities range from hearing ocean sounds to tasting different foods. The activities reflect familiar experiences many children have already had or will have in the future. The ending ties the entire book and all five senses together by describing a pickle based on what you taste, smell, see, touch, and hear.
Isadora’s writing style appeals to a young audience because of her use of humor. She uses phrases about silly noises and gross smells that would make any child giggle as they read or listen to the story. She also uses a lot of onomatopoeia, especially when talking about the sense of hearing. Animal sounds and noises we make as we eat different foods are just a few of the sounds she includes in her writing. Her writing is also very descriptive, as she describes in great detail how our senses are stimulated in each experience. The humor and descriptiveness is successful in creating an enjoyable reading experience while also teaching readers about the five senses.
The illustrations in this book are a major part of the story. Each experience that the author describes is accompanied by an image depicting it, which appeals to the reader and adds to the understanding of the sense that is being used. The people in Isadora’s illustrations are extremely diverse. They are all different genders, ages, races, and wearing different types of clothing. This exposes children to a diverse population that they can relate to in different ways. With multiple illustrations on every page, it is essential to the story and enhances the text for children.
I think this picture book is fantastic for young children. The author uses humor, onomatopoeia, descriptive words, and illustrations to enhance the story and make it enjoyable for early readers. It also promotes some understanding of the five senses and relates it to experiences children have in their daily lives. This could easily become a favorite book for young readers because the short phrases are fun to read and easy to remember.
Reviewed by Hayley Lepkowski