This noisy barnyard junket should evoke squeals of delight.
Board books that moo, bark, or squawk are not new, but talking-book technology is improving, and this book is, perhaps, state-of-the-art. There are no flaps to flip nor lumps in the pages to press. Each two-page spread asks readers about the sound the featured animal makes, and each animal has a flat, metallic button on its body that little fingers can easily activate, producing real recordings of the appropriate baas, grunts, or whinnies. Six animals and the sounds they make appear in the first 12 pages; the final page is a recap with pictures of all six animals and an invitation to young readers to voice their best impressions of each. The illustrations, while not high art, are easily recognizable representations of the animals in question and contain sufficient agrarian imagery to prompt discussion and suggest additional vocabulary for older toddlers. The design of the book is ingenious. Embedded in the last, extra-thick page is the power supply that keeps things noisy. Perhaps the best feature of all is an “on/off” switch, discreetly tucked under a flap on the face of the power-supply housing. Above the switch is a plate that can be easily removed with a small, precision screwdriver in order to replace the batteries. The sounds are clear regardless of how the book is held.
Joyous cacophony for the younger set. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)