Richie's Picks: RED SLED by Lita Judge,
Atheneum, November 2011, 36p., ISBN: 978-1-4424-2007-6
I learned a new word today: "Gadung."
Listen to the sound as you speak it aloud, like this:
Now say it four times in a row: Ga-DUNG. Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG,
Come on! Do it again.
Ga-DUNG. Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG.
I can just feel the gentle jarring in my bottom and up my
rickety old back as I read aloud the two-page spread in RED SLED that says
"Gadung Gadung Gadung Gadung" while we view the moose who, at this particular
moment, is dog-sitting on the gently bouncing sled with the rabbit sitting
between his front hooves, and the bear (who'd originally "borrowed" the red sled
leaning against the child's house) lying atop the moose's antlers, front legs
splayed and mouth open in delight.
Delight is the word. When we are young, we delight in learning
the thrill of having our bodies move through space...and sometimes gently tumble
down. I am, at this moment, wracking my brain to recall another children's
book that so perfectly captures and portrays the feeling of delight that this
Okay. Here's another one to try:
The visual aftermath of the animal sledders "fluoomping" into
the snow is hysterical. The bear is belly-flopped with a look of utter bliss on
his face. He is on top of the opossum and the pair of raccoons, the rabbit is
perched on his head, and the mouse is near by. The wide-eyed moose IS UPSIDE
DOWN peering out at us from the top of the page...with the porcupine hanging
down like a Christmas ornament as he holds one-handed onto one of the antler
Having had their fun for the night, all the animal
participants watch from a safe distance as the bear quietly returns the red sled
to where he found it -- outside of the child's little snow-covered
"Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch
And what would you do if you were that child and you saw those
big paw prints leading to and from your beloved sled?
RED SLED is pure magic.