Slither and slide: what's outside?

Slither and Slide: What’s Outside by N. Hilb

Hilb, Nora, Simon Shapiro and Sheryl Shapiro. Slither and Slide: What’s Outside. Toronto:  Annick Press, 2012. Print.

Nora Hilb, who is listed as lead author on this book, is a prolific illustrator living in Argentina.  The text is by Toronto authors Simon and Sheryl Shapiro. Together, this team of three has produced an entertaining and educational book which progresses through the seasons from spring to winter.

Each two page spread has four integrated parts. On the left page is a photograph of something outside. The first is of a fruit tree in blossom. On the facing page is an image of children outside, doing something that mirrors what is in the photograph.  In the first case, to mirror the tree, they are watering a plant. The accompanying text is in the form of a three line rhyme about what the children are doing. The rhyme is followed by one word in large capital letters. For example, one of the winter photographs shows a row of wind turbines and is matched with a drawing of a child with a pinwheel. The accompanying text reads, “The blustery wind/that blows in from the west/ for windmills and pinwheels, it’s really the best/ WHIRR!” One can easily imagine reading the rhyme to a child and then spelling the word out at the end as a learning activity. Many children will learn to recite the rhymes.

The high-quality photographic images are the work of a variety of people. Hilb’s drawings are whimsical, with lots of bright colours and action. The page pairs are fun. The image of a waterfall is paired with an image of children at the beach dumping water from one bucket to another. The rainbow image is paired with children colouring with a rainbow of crayons. The picture of the black bear is paired with an image of a child in a bear-costume pretending to scare his Dad.

Overall this is an attractive book that incorporates a little learning and lots of ways to engage and amuse small children. Highly recommended.

Recommendation:  4 stars out of 4
Reviewer:  Sandy Campbell

Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has written hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.  Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.