A simple black-and-white board book takes toddlers on a trip to the farm.
Checkers and Dot (named for the patterns on their clothing) take their cat Stripesy and dog Spot to the farm, where they investigate what’s inside the barn. In simple, rhyming text—only a couple of short lines per page—the little group meets a cow who “says hello with a Moo, Moo, Moo” and a horse who “eats hay with a chew, chew, chew.” After next encountering some chickens and a grouchy duck, the cat and dog are ready to leave, so Checkers and Dot say goodbye. While the text is occasionally a bit awkward and rhythmically stilted, it is simple and sparse enough for the board-book crowd, with an appropriate vocabulary as well. The appealing black-and-white illustrations feature lots of interesting patterns sure to get little ones’ attention. In a companion volume, Checkers and Dot at the Beach, the crew counts animals, from one crab to five fish. Here, too, the slightly strange story is rescued by the crisp, high-contrast illustrations, featuring large numerals in addition to patterns this time.
These Checkers and Dot adventures, while not share-aloud superstars, are nifty for leaving in baby’s reach for spontaneous exploration and play. (Board book. 3 mos.-3)