The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na
Alfred A Knopf, 2008
Awhile back, Il Sung Na's A Book of Sleep was getting lots of great reviews, so I put it on hold at my library. When it came in, I read it, really liked it, and wanted to see if Na had done any other books. I found this, and it is wonderful!
An elephant finds a thingamabob. (While he doesn't know what it is, kids will delight in immediately identifying it as an umbrella.) Sometimes the thingamabob doesn't do anything; sometimes it surprises him. His friends don't know what it is, and he wonders about the things he might be able to do with it. Can he fly with it? Can he swim with it? Can he hide behind it? As he discovers he can't do any of these things with it, he cries out in frustration, "What are you, then?!" As rain drops begin to fall, the elephant and his friends finally find a use for the thingamabob.
The illustrations are gorgeous, and have a beautiful, textured pattern to them. The bright red thingamabob always stands out, and the illustrations are big enough for a group, and yet invite a closer look for individual readers. Elephant is a lovable character with such expression!
If you're in need of another bedtime book, definitely check out A Book of Sleep. And, don't miss Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons. Both have the same delightful illustrations and perfectly composed prose.