Ah Ha!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Ah Ha! Book Poster Image
Frog has "ah ha!" moments (also "aaah!") in exciting romp.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Teaches the difference between phrases "Ah ha!" and "Aaah!" and "Ha ha!" and may teach pre-readers to recognize these words. 

Positive messages

You never know what's coming next, so don't rest on your laurels (or a turtle), because your situation could change -- and become dangerous -- in an instant.

Positive role models & representations

The frog is quick to respond to challenges and changes in his situation and has an upbeat, positive attitude, even the face of constant peril. 

Violence & scariness

The frog almost gets eaten by an alligator and a flamingo, but he escapes. He gets temporarily trapped in a jar twice. 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ah Ha! is a fun and funny picture book that tells an exciting story of a frog trying to escape capture that uses only two letters to form phrases expressing discovery and satistfaction ("Ah ha!"), relief and relaxation ("Aahh!"), and sacrcastic victory ("Ha ha!"). It follows author Jeff Mack's Good News Bad News, which also uses cute animal characters to tell a story of ups and downs through contrasting phrases. Ah Ha! is perfect for read-aloud and read-along. 

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What's the story?

A frog relaxes in a pond -- \"Aahh!\" -- then discovers a rock --\"Ah ha!\" -- then climbs on top of it -- \"Aahh!\" But wait: A kid scoops him into a jar, and a dog observes, \"Ah Ha!\" and jumps at the jar and knocks the lid off, causing the frog to tumble out, screaming, \"Aahh!\" He finds safety on another rock -- \"Ah ha!\" -- that turns out to be a turtle, who spots the visitor and yells, \"Ah ha!\" And so it goes, with continuing reversals of fortune as the frog encounters an alligator, a flamingo, and the returning kid with a jar.

Is it any good?

This is an exciting story that's told using phrases made with just two letters. As with author Jeff Mack's Good News Bad News, kids have fun seeing cause and effect as well as ups and downs as cute, emotive animal characters shift from a good situation to a bad one in an instant, and vice versa. Having the pro and con phrases be so similarly spelled adds a clever layer to the out-loud storytelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about danger in the animal world. Why would an alligator want to eat a frog? Do you know what a predator is? 

  • Why are stories about animals so popular? What's fun about reading books in which animals do brave, clever, and funny things? 

  • What situation might you be in when you'd yell "A ha!"? How do you feel when you say "Ahhh!"? How does "Ahhh!" sound different when you're relaxed and when you're afraid?  

Book details

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