Quattlebaum and Bryant continue their nature-themed sing-along books with one focused on the sounds of the forest animals.
Jo MacDonald and her grandfather head out for a hike in the woods, the familiar childhood song inspiring the pair to describe the animal sounds they hear: the rat-tat of a woodpecker, the err-err of a squirrel, the gobble-gobble of a turkey and more. The hoo-hoo of an owl ends the day, Jo in her grandfather’s arms. Some of the sounds may test (and fail!) the limits of human hearing—the chomp-chomp of a chipmunk eating, a snake’s slither-slither, the shuffle-shuffle of a turtle, the pad-pad of a skunk and a moth’s flutter-flutter. Bryant’s watercolors are sweetly lovely, not only capturing the relationship between the girl and her grandfather (though their faces could be more expressive), but also simplifying the nature scenes in order to highlight the important parts of the ecosystem and to allow young children to easily spot the featured animal and the squirrel that appears in each spread. Backmatter includes extensive information about trees; a paragraph of information about each of the animals, plants and trees in the illustrations; a section on how to emulate Jo, a naturalist; and a list of questions (not all of which can be answered by the text as the directions state—kids may be hard-pressed to draw a squirrel’s drey, for instance).
The weakest of Jo’s three adventures; still, this could be a good checklist for young children to use on their own animal-spotting, or -listening, hike. (Picture book. 3-7)