Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Quiet as a mouse and other animal idioms by Chieu Anh Urban

This guessing-game board book is sweet and clever, but has a few issues.

The first spread of each riddle shows a solid, boldly-colored background with the written clues. The facing page is white or pastel and shows eyes, nose, and a few details like whiskers. The following spread shows the animal in its entirety.

The animals included are a lamb, fox, ox, bat, and a clam. The clam at the end is sporting mirrored sunglasses so the child can see a blurry picture of themselves.

The pictures are brightly colored and have large shapes creating the animals. They also include die cut eyes, smiles, etc. to trace with a finger and add tactile interest.

However, some of the word choices are odd, as are the pictures. "Happy as a clam" is not an expression I hear often and even here in our dairy-rich, quasi-rural area most kids don't know the word "ox", they call them cows or bulls. Bats are called "blind" and given dark glasses and sharp, vampire-like teeth. Most babies and toddlers aren't going to be familiar with the characterization of a fox as "sly."

Verdict: Cute pictures and a nice layout; the text is really not developmentally appropriate, but it will attract the interest of older children and parents. I dislike the factually inaccurate elements though; bats are not blind and their eyes don't glow that I'm aware of. I'd think twice about purchasing it because of this.

ISBN: 9781454925057; Published 2017 by Sterling; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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