John Cantry, Heads and Tails, Berbay Publishing, 1 May 2017, 40pp., $26.95 (hbk), ISBN: 9780994289575
Heads and Tails is a guessing game of a book, with three clues and a tail on each page, asking readers to figure out the animal that is coming next. The clues are about the animal’s appearance and its habits. Readers will be instantly engaged by this highly interactive format, taking pleasure in predicting the animal, and being surprised by the pages where Cantry tries to trick them!
Cantry has produced a beautiful and thoughtful book, both in the writing and illustrations. He uses language that is both appealing in sound and specificity. The pictures are superb watercolours of the animals, without other distractions on the page, showcasing the important features of the animals.
The Grade 1 and 2 audience I shared this book with liked the variety of animals in it, the fun of predicting what the animal was, the times the author tried to trick them and learning the details about the animals. Teachers could use this book to help students write their own guessing games about animals, or other subjects, using the book to show students how to follow the three clues format.
Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts