One of a quartet of board books of familiar nursery rhymes.
Cover images of a smiling, spotted cartoon cow jumping over a beaming moon stand out against a dark background. Liberal use of patterning, such as a subtle blue stripe in the night sky, gives the otherwise flat illustrations depth. A view of a cat sleeping in a window on the first, wordless page hints at what is to come, and sure enough it takes out its fiddle by the third double-page spread. Companion nighttime title Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star uses a similar, appropriately dark palette. Also publishing simultaneously are The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Bo Peep, both lighter and brighter than the first two but with the same smiling animal faces and decorative patterns in collagelike pictures. Quintanilla avoids questions of race and gender by using animal characters throughout, making Bo Peep an Old English sheepdog instead of a shepherdess. All four texts are true to the original rhymes, without embellishments or added verses, making them a reasonable way to introduce toddlers to the traditional rhymes. However, the hefty sticker prices make them rather expensive additions to a toddler’s library, especially since many caregivers can probably recite them from memory. A more comprehensive book of nursery rhymes such as My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells (1996) would be a better investment.
For settings that would value the rhymes in separate packages, sturdy, serviceable efforts. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)