Animals form a band ’cause “a hoedown is better when we’re all together!”
Shaped pages in increasingly larger sizes are layered so that when the book is closed parts of all are visible. Sweet, cartoon-style illustrations in soft colors depict farm animals playing instruments. First up, there’s a banjo-playing cat. At each page turn a new animal joins in: a pig, a sheep, a horse, and a cow. On the final page the band is assembled, and they’ll “jig and jive until we feel alive.” This spread also includes three flaps, with a guitar, a tambourine, and a small drum respectively. The other book in this duo, Swimming Hole Party, has parallel wording and is similarly fashioned of shaped and layered pages. Here it is jungle animals that will one by one come together. Appropriately, the colors used are a little stronger than in the barnyard outing, though they still have a gentle baby quality. By the final page a monkey, a hippo, a lion, a giraffe, and an elephant have assembled at the swimming hole: “A sunny day is better when we’re all together!” Here too there are three flaps, with a ball, a boat, and a rubber duck respectively. It is hard to imagine the flaps in either book will last long.
Sweet and charming yet not particularly stirring. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)