A sunny and bright animal-themed picture dictionary for the lap-sit set.
Bring on the herons and toucans; this is indeed a real album of animals! In a welcome change of pace, illustrator Aracil doesn’t stop at the same-old, same-old cat/dog/horse but forges into new zoological territory, introducing moles, boars, marmots, and other lesser-known critters. The animals are attractive in their saturated pastel colors and smudgy style that mimics scribbly crayon coloring. Expressive faces and animated poses, such as a monkey swinging, an octopus inking, or flies circling a cow plop, keep the book light and provide rich opportunities for adult-child conversation. Unlike so many frenetic, overbusy picture dictionaries, the spacious placement of the animals across the full-page spreads establishes a leisurely pace, and having the animals organized into 12 different animal habitats keeps things orderly. Tall, thin type neatly labels the animals, though the few sentences arbitrarily interspersed are strangely generic in comparison to the chipper illustrations. It’s unfortunate that there are no children of color among the kids scattered within the “in the home” and “on the farm” sections. Elegantly designed fabric tabs on the right margin act as a rudimentary index but are even better for tiny fingers to grasp, complementing the already toddler-friendly diminutive trim.
This breezy, warm board book will be a welcome addition to many small humans’ habitats. (Board book. 1-3)