A band of farm animals demonstrate a variety of instruments used in American country music.
A singing donkey introduces the players, which include a cow on bass, a frog strumming mandolin, a cat guitarist, and a horse on harmonica. Text fills the verso with onomatopoeic sounds to emulate the music (“Rinky dink tink!” signifies the banjo, for example) while the critter demonstrates the instrument on the recto (a monocle-wearing owl in this instance). The cartoony musicians look to have been created with the aid of a computer, and they’re a little too slick, looking out of place in the barnyard scenes rendered in earth tones. Many of the musical noises don’t fit the instrument (does an accordion really sound like this: “Tru tru, tru-tu”?). While the dobro is a nice addition, it is quite surprising that the fiddle is absent. The final double-page spread shows the country band in its entirety, along with a lamb, a chicken, a pig, and a bunny who dance along to the beat.
Caregivers who want to introduce their young children to this musical genre would be better off just playing them some bluegrass. (Board book. 1-3)