Follow the Trail to reinforce pre-reading skills.
This bigger-than-normal board book and a companion about dinosaurs provide minimal information about two favorite subjects. Budding entomologists are invited to follow a variety of critters along glittery, lightly textured paths waymarked with factoids. As with Truck (2016), both this offering and Baby Dinosaurs (published simultaneously) begin with an introductory spread that explains how the book works. Occasional peek-through holes that hint at the next insect as well as textured shapes add variety (and distraction). Insects are not shown in actual size or in proportion to other critters. For example, tiny ladybugs are magnified to 3.5 inches, while the snail’s shell on the same page is just 2 inches across. This is helpful for showing detail but could hinder successful identification in nature. Sophisticated vocabulary with key words printed in boldface, highlighted directional words, and words of encouragement (“keep going,” “nearly there”) along each trail provide adults with the words to help children learning how to navigate text. The trails of the honeybee, ladybug, butterfly, and dragonfly cross two final pages, providing more practice and a review. The companion’s smiling dinosaurs are heavily anthropomorphized.
Acceptable for pre-reading practice, but committed young entomologists and paleontologists will quickly abandon these trails for books with more substantive information. (Board book. 2-4)