This fresh take on the traditional nursery rhyme aims to teach colors to toddlers.
Childlike illustrations with chalked backgrounds provide clues to the action and give little learners much to talk about. The first spread presents a spare winter scene with a cartoon sheep following a backpack-clad Mary, presumably on the way to school, presented in profile. The child seems to be looking back at the sheep. The sheep’s only line is “Baaa!” On the next spread, the sheep gives the side-eye to an orange tiger that exclaims, “Raar! Raaar! Raaaar!” while Mary marches confidently on. This pattern continues for a pink hippo, a red monkey, three blue bears, a purple mouse, a green crocodile, and a yellow giraffe. Each animal comes with their own vocalization or sound effect. The spreads grow more and more crowded and raucous until finally they all board a double-decker bus. (Mary is driving.) The text reads, “Now everywhere that Mary went, this colorful crew was there.” Surprise, they’re going to the park. “For Mary had packed the very best lunch… / just big enough to share.” There’s no telling how this feast—cake, an enormous submarine sandwich, hot dogs, drinks with swirly straws, fruit, doughnuts, even a piece of cheese for the mouse—ever fit in that one backpack, but that’s all of a piece with the overall whimsy. Companion title This Little Piggy takes on the numbers from one to 10.
Engaging fun with a well-disguised bonus lesson on colors. (Board book. 2-4)