A breezy book aimed at young readers touches upon the unique terms for 27 animal mamas.
A smallish trim size and cutesy, close-up illustrations executed with Prismacolor pencils contribute to a feel that this book is aimed at the toddler and early-preschool set. Clipped, rhyming language poses questions that may surprise with their answers. The spread that queries, “did you know not all COWS moo?” shows seal, elephant, hippopotamus and rhinoceros mother-and-child pairs, since each of these animal mamas is referred to as a “cow.” A traditional-looking chicken and chick introduce the term “hen,” which a page turn reveals also happens to be used for a female octopus, crab and lobster. Some pages may confuse, since not every pair of creatures featured gets a mention in the text—“Mommy is the QUEEN of clean” focuses on a sunny yellow cat and her kitten, but in the near background is a nanny goat and her kid. While potentially useful for introducing new terminology on an ever-popular topic, the pictures have a mass-produced quality that fails to charm, and the final spread of the book is a lackluster stringing of puns: “There’s no other PEN [a female swan] pal like her! DOE…you love me? / Oh, I love EWE.”
The best part of this slim title is the final page, which pictures all the animal mothers with their appropriate names. Consider only as an additional purchase. (Picture book. 2-5)