Ward, Helen. Spots in a Box. Somerville, MA: Templar Books, 2015. Print.
Genre: rhyming picture book
Summary: What’s to be done when you’re the only guinea fowl without any spots? Well you write a letter and order some!
Critique: The rhyme schemes throughout this story are “spot on.” No, really, I’m not just waxing punnetic. War never overreaches or forces the meter with flimflam syntax or nonsensical words. (Just to be clear, syntactical gymnastics and mishmash words are allowed in creative writing, however, only a few authors have succeeded in deploying these tactics with any real skill. Seuss…Dahl…Twain…etc.) Instead, Ward keeps her language tuned up and the story drives itself!
And throughout all the guinea fowl fun had with clots, blots, inky-font dots, and i-topping spots, readers of any age imbibe a subtly conveyed powerful message about how self-expression can be the root of self-fulfillment when it is not designed to merely meet public expectation.
(Guinea fowl fun fact: a group of guinea fowl is called a confusion!)