Bluemle, Elizabeth, and Randy Cecil. How Do You Wokka-Wokka? Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2009.
Picture books that have wide appeal seem rare, but How Do You Wokka-Wokka? joins the ranks of Dr. Seuss and a host of more recent creations. Creativity and fun with language often are the traits that are associated with memorable books and Bluemle has struck a familiar chord.
After I picked up the book from my school mailbox I gave it a quick read, tucked it under my arm, and checked in with a senior English class working on their research projects. One student asked, “Whatcha got?” so I read the title and immediately began an imprpomptu read-aloud. The predictable language caught their attention and before I knew it the Wokka-Wokka chorus was born.
After the read, as if back in the elementary or the home they wanted to hear it again. That was evidence enough to declare and reinforce the beauty of language and remind them how their early lives were filled with the same kind of inventive expressions.
The diversion was not really a diversion, but just a reminder that reading could still be fun, and that reading aloud together is an activity that any community can enjoy.
Praents, teachers, librarians, and others can surely create the same results when they share the beauty of discovering their own language once again. Add How Do You Wokka-Wokka? to the collection with confidence and do experience it as a read-aloud.
5 out of 5
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC 28901