I learned a new word today: "Gadung."
Listen to the sound as you speak it aloud, like this: Ga-DUNG.
Now say it four times in a row: Ga-DUNG. Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG.
Come on! Do it again.
Ga-DUNG. Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG, Ga-DUNG.
I can just feel the gentle jarring in my bottom and up my rickety old back as I read aloud the two-page spread in RED SLED that says "Gadung GadungGadung Gadung" while we view the moose who, at this particular moment, is dog-sitting on the gently bouncing sled with the rabbit sitting between his front hooves, and the bear (who'd originally "borrowed" the red sled leaning against the child's house) lying atop the moose's antlers, front legs splayed and mouth open in delight.
Delight is the word. When we are young, we delight in learning the thrill of having our bodies move through space...and sometimes gently tumble down. I am, at this moment, wracking my brain to recall another children's book that so perfectly captures and portrays the feeling of delight that this one does.
Okay. Here's another one to try: "eeeeeeeeeee...fluoomp......ft"
The visual aftermath of the animal sledders "fluoomping" into the snow is hysterical. The bear is belly-flopped with a look of utter bliss on his face. He is on top of the opossum and the pair of raccoons, the rabbit is perched on his head, and the mouse is near by. The wide-eyed moose IS UPSIDE DOWN peering out at us from the top of the page...with the porcupine hanging down like a Christmas ornament as he holds one-handed onto one of the antler points.
Having had their fun for the night, all the animal participants watch from a safe distance as the bear quietly returns the red sled to where he found it -- outside of the child's little snow-covered house:
"Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch"
And what would you do if you were that child and you saw those big paw prints leading to and from your beloved sled?
RED SLED is pure magic.
Recommended by: Richie Partington, Librarian, California, USA