A snapshot of country life full of sounds and sentiment.

COCK-A-DOODLE DOO, CREAK, POP-POP, MOO

What can you hear on a farm?

The titular "cock-a-doodle-doo, creak, pop-pop, and moo," just to start. Crisp, clear lines rich in onomatopoeia describe a day from morning to night in this nostalgic paean to life on a farm, while stylized, retro watercolors provide a humorous look at the farm’s residents, both animal and human. From start (“Rooster crows, / Cock-a-doodle-doo. / Wake up, girls, / And little boys, too”) to finish (“Owl calls out / Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo. / Goodnight, boys, / And little girls, too”), this agreeable selection delivers the sounds, look and atmosphere of an old-time farm. Young children will enjoy the strong rhymes and catchy beat, which beckon them to join in, and appreciate the introduction to some of the specifics of the world of a farm, including cooking, chores and the rhythm of nature. Sneed's characters, both animal and human, and backgrounds are rendered with curving, sometimes off-kilter lines, constantly evoking motion and complementing the rhythmic text. In composition and perspective, they echo the heroic murals of the Works Progress Administration. He fills the pages with details (a swallow feeds its babies at its nest under the eaves) and humor (a pig squints lazily up from its bed in the mud). 

A snapshot of country life full of sounds and sentiment. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2356-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more