A question-and-answer exchange about farm-dwelling bovines.
The project begins with “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” with words missing from the iconic rhyme, prompting little ones to fill in the key words. Subsequent double-page spreads encourage dialogic reading, an early literacy practice in which parents, caregivers, and educators ask open-ended questions to encourage language and vocabulary development, as the back cover notes and the text actively models. Cenko’s opaque, jewel-toned paintings are a mélange of panels of various sizes and graphic clues sprinkled with question marks. Some of the illustrations are droll, clever, and recognizable. However, some panels may be too small for little ones to see enough to identify and label objects and actions. Young children who are ready for a dialogic-reading approach are often also ready for paper pages and longer texts, so this can be considered more a book to get caregivers comfortable with the practice than one that is aimed squarely at toddlers.
A clever approach in search of the appropriate format. (Board book. 2-4)