An interesting but limited introduction to animal onomatopoeia.

CHICKEN TALK AROUND THE WORLD

Chicken onomatopoeias explored in six different languages.

Author Schaefer brings readers on a linguistic tour of six countries on four continents to explore the very similar sounds human speakers make to mimic chickens and roosters. Sticking to major, widely spoken languages—English in the U.S., Spanish in Mexico, French in France, Swahili in Kenya, Hindi in India, and Japanese in Japan, to be precise—the text imagines young readers visiting grandmothers and their flocks around the globe. Two spreads per language, all ending with “Chicken talk in [insert language here],” introduce readers to their respective words for hens, roosters, eggs, and grandmas, complete with parenthetical English phonetic spellings. Illustrator Morgan’s blocky, pastel-like illustrations fill the pages with loving families and a variety of unspecified chicken breeds. While this may not be a read to return to again and again, it certainly opens up the concept of different languages’ approaches to sound. Disappointingly, though, the book ends with illustrations of each grandmother’s egg-based dish, and while the unnamed smiling children introduce readers to each language’s thank you, they provide no insight on their cultural foods. Altogether, a fine jumping-off point for a lifelong love of chickens, language, food, or all three—but with gaps.

An interesting but limited introduction to animal onomatopoeia. (Informational picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63217-291-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to...

I LIKE THE FARM

From the I Like To Read series

This entry-level early reader/picture book pairs children with farm animals.

Using a simple, effective template—a full-page photograph on the recto page and a bordered spot photo above the text on the verso—Rotner delivers an amiable picture book that presents racially and ethnically diverse kids interacting (mostly in the cuddling department) with the adult and baby animals typically found on a farm. Chickens, chicks, cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, pigs, piglets, cows, and calves are all represented. While a couple of double-page spreads show the larger adult animals—pigs and cows—without a child, most of the rest portray a delighted child hugging a compliant critter. The text, simple and repetitive, changes only the name for the animal depicted in the photo on that spread: “I like the cat”; “I like the piglet.” In this way, reading comprehension for new readers is supported in an enjoyable, appealing way, since the photo of the animal reinforces the new word. It’s hard to go wrong combining cute kids with adorable animals, but special kudos must be given for the very natural way Rotner has included diversity—it’s especially gratifying to see diversity normalized and validated early, at the same time that reading comprehension is taught.

Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to like? (Picture book/early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3833-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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