Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Fox on the Loose! by Matthew Porter

This is a very different board book and I was getting into it, but was jarred out of the story.

The fox creeps through the night, waking up a series of animals who give warning cheeps, honks, baas, etc. until they awaken the dog who chases away the fox. The story has a nice cumulative effect, although the rhyming text is a little awkward and bland. However, I felt that the line with the ox "And the baas of the sheep wake up the ox, Who bellows and farts at the nasty old fox." were weirdly jarring. Most toddlers don't get potty humor and the rather old-fashioned feel of the text and art doesn't fit with the crudity. There certainly are silly titles with bodily functions that both kids and parents enjoy - Patricelli's Toot for example, but it's clear from the art (and title) what you're getting in that book. A minor point perhaps, but one that weighed against the book's favor for me.

I did really like the art and if the text had been consistent with it would have been much more enthusiastic about the book. It's paintings on wood and has a primitive feel with interesting visual textures. The book itself is slightly larger than the average board book, about 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide. The pages are thick and sturdy and have a nice, glossy shine.

Verdict: While I loved the art, the text just didn't work for me and my library's audience. I'll pass on this one.

ISBN: 9781570619281; Published 2015 by Little Bigfoot; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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