Friday, March 22, 2013

KAZAAK by Sean Cassidy

Cassidy, Sean. Kazaak! Markham, Ont.: Fitzenhenry & Whiteside, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-55455-117-0. $18.95.

Kazaak! is the story of two porcupines named Spike and Rupert. Spike is quite the ingenue when it comes to having quills; Rupert, though, is an old pro. Rupert excitedly shows Spike all the wonderful things that quills can do. Most marvelous of all, however, is the way that, with a flick of a mighty tail, a porcupine can kazaak pretty much anything. You can kazaak fruit and let the yummy juice drip of your quills into your mouth. You can kazaak a tree and use it to help you climb up. The most important thing that kazaaking allows you to do? Scare off Bear.

Unfortunately, things don't go so well for Rupert and Spike when they encounter Bear in the woods. Rupert has spent so much time showing Spike what quills can do and kazaaking here and kazaaking there that all his quills are gone! A little quick thinking on the part of Spike, though, saves the day!

The final few pages of Kazaak! end with some information about porcupines—where they live, what they eat, and what their tracks look like. Additional statistics are shared about quills—for example, an average porcupine has 30,000 quills and if you were to draw all 30,000 quills at a rate of two quills for every second, it would take four hours to finish. Speaking of drawing, a final activity provides a diagram of how to draw a porcupine.  It's a good book, though I did feel a bit sorry for Bear when everything came to an end.

Reviewed by Stephanie Ashley

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