Where Have You Been?



Interactive poems engage young kids.

What parents need to know

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that these are simple poems that will be engaging to very young kids.

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What's the story?

In six line, rhyming poems, a bespectacled owl with pearls and a purse asks simple questions of fourteen animals. As each replies, Owl writes down the answers in her book. The animals include a cat, squirrel, bird, horse, whale, mole, frog, toad, rabbit, lion, and mouse. On the very last page, Owl asks Rook, "where do you look?" Rook replies, "At the very last page of this very same book," and the illustration shows Rook looking over the shoulder of Owl at the book.

Is it any good?


Playful and sweet, the simple poem rocks gently along inviting the engagement of young readers through the question-and-answer format. Using images from the fanciful language, the illustrations add layers of subplots for pre-readers to follow. For example, Old Squirrel answers that he has been on a whirl. The illustration shows a squirrel with goggles on a helicopter-like flying contraption with a fairy holding on for dear life and the moon rolling its eyes.

Both the poem and the series of cheerful illustrations are fully realized and could stand alone, but the combination is most delightful. Twice winners of the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award, Leo and Diane Dillon create artwork that is beautifully rendered while maintaining a spirit of whimsy. Margaret Wise Brown shows yet again that her authentic voice, well-crafted language, and light-hearted intelligence are enduring.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the different animals have been doing. Talk about some other animals you see in and around your home. Where do you think they've been?

Book details

Author:Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrators:Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:June 1, 2004
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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