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Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes


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About the Author

Brian P. Cleary is the author of the Words Are CATegorical(R), Math Is CATegorical(R), Food Is CATegorical(TM), and Animal Groups Are CATegorical(TM) series, as well as several picture books. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Steve Mack is a children's book and greeting card illustrator. He lives in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, Canada, with his wife and two children.


"Anyone who struggles with Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks (1965) will enjoy these silly sentences that simply must be read out loud. Since the sentences are short, they look easy, but overconfident readers beware: it'd be hard enough to pronounce all these words correctly, even without humor adding to the challenge, especially in one case about 'kissing quickly'--name a six-year-old who doesn't giggle at kissing. Colorful, stylized illustrations feature human and animal characters, and each image and sentence form a discrete package, one to a page or to a spread. Occasional details in the pictures are hilarious, especially the one for 'Tim and his thin twin sister, Trish, twice tricked their thick sitter, ' showing giraffe kids dangling a spider over a panicking hippo babysitter, who is about to sit on a tiny whoopee cushion that emits 'poot!' in tiny type. The title twister, which closes the collection, is reminiscent of Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson's Six Sick Sheep (1993). A note at the end offers suggestions for aspiring tonguetwister creators." --Booklist--Journal

"Readers who take this on should prepare their tongues for a wicked tangling...and their stomach muscles for a workout. A quick look at some of Cleary's sentences can be deceiving--seemingly simple syllables are truly tongue twisting when read aloud: 'The water in Flo's Inn flows in frozen.' Others, however, look tricky right from the start: 'Few knew that Mr. Froo flew in the fleshy, freshly fried fish from Florida.' From the silly and ridiculous to the everyday, this tongue-twister collection covers a wide variety of topics. Ever the educator, the author's backmatter includes some great tips for creating tongue twisters, breaking down for readers just what makes them so difficult to say. Mack's brightly colored madcap cartoon illustrations match the tongue-in-cheek humor of the text. 'The ghostly moans were mostly groans' pictures a child ghost wildly protesting having to rake the leaves while his unimpressed father stands by, arms crossed. And it's tough to beat the silliness of slightly cross-eyed and buck-toothed men in sandals and togas playing basketball: 'See the Greek geeks as they shoot three free throws.' Not for the faint of heart; tongues should really be limbered up before tackling these." --Kirkus Reviews--Journal

"This high-energy collection of pleasantly rhythmic tongue twisters features a screwball cast of cartoon animals rendered in digital collages. Characters include a long-eared, lovestruck dog ('Miss Tish made a quick list of/ those she'd kissed quickest') and a pair of hungry bears excitedly awaiting their meal at a restaurant. 'Few knew that Mr. Froo flew in the/ fleshy, freshly fried fish from Florida.' An appended guide provides tips for creating effective tongue twisters―something readers are likely to try out once they master the satisfying sounds of these silly, slippery, serpentine selections." --Publishers Weekly--Journal

"Tongue twisters constitute one of the few challenges in which failure is as much fun as accomplishment, and here Cleary offers two dozen originals that should reduce the most eloquent youngster to a state of giggling babble 'The TV was fee-free for channel 3'; 'Few knew that Mr. Froo flew in the fleshy, freshly fried fish from Florida.' Not all selections are equally pithy, and several try a little too hard to pack in as many tangling terms as possible without actually upping the difficulty much ('Nan's knapsack straps sat on the striped steps'). Mack's goofy digitally rendered cartoon cast manages, however, to turn even the most sense-straining ditty into a literal performance. While this can't match Jon Agee's Orangutan Tongs (BCCB 4/09) for cleverness or panache, it does feature the welcome bonus of a page of 'Make Your Own Tongue Twisters' suggestions, featuring letter combinations, initial sounds, and ending letters that are most likely to induce verbal meltdown. Surely there's a phonics lesson in here somewhere." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books--Journal

"A pleased penguin takes a shower as 'The water in Flo's Inn flows in frozen.' A Christmas elf faces down a menacing dog: 'Sammy stammered as he told the stray in the sleigh to stay.' Brightly colored, bold-hued pictures add clarity and humor. An appended 'Make Your Own Tongue Twister' page helpfully provides letter combinations that 'can be particularly difficult to pronounce.'" --The Horn Book Guide--Journal

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