Links I Shared on Twitter This Week: July 27
J.K. Rowling to Give Webcast to Launch New Harry Potter Reading Club

Baby Says "Moo!": JoAnn Early Macken

Book: Baby Says "Moo!"
Author: JoAnn Early Macken 
Illustrator: David Walker
Pages: 32
Age Range: 1-4 

BabySaysMooBaby Says "Moo!" is a picture book that didn't wow me on the first read, but has really grown on me with repeat readings. And there have been many repeat readings, because this is a current Baby Bookworm favorite (she is 2 1/4). We read it at least once every day, usually before bed. 

The premise in Baby Says "Moo!" is that as a family goes through their day, the mother and father keep asking the baby what various animals that they encounter say. No matter the animal, the baby (clinging tightly to her little stuffed cow) always says "Moo!". The parents laugh and say things like:

"People say moo?
That can't be so.
Everybody knows that
people say hello.

A cow says moo,
sure as you're my bunny.
Where'd you ever find
an idea so funny? 

Eventually the family runs across a real cow, and baby has a chance to say "Moo!" correctly. Not a complex plot, certainly. But there is a lot to like about this quiet little book:

  • The text is cumulative, each time reviewing what all of the previously encountered animals say. This repetition is soothing for read-aloud, without being so lengthy as to become tedious. 
  • The text is also filled with little endearments between parents and child, like "sure as you're my lovey-dove, and I'm yours, too." Sappy, yes, but let's face it. This is how parents talk to their babies. Might as well capture it accurately.
  • There's a bit of advanced vocabulary, such as the description of the baby being "tuckered out", instead of just "tired".  
  • The animal sounds are in a different color (pink vs. blue), and each time an animal sound is described in the text, a little icon of the animal is shown next to the text. Nice for teaching purposes.  
  • The baby passes through various real-life scenarios, to the happy identification of the toddler-age reader. "Look, the baby is sitting in a shopping cart". "Look, the baby is in a car seat." "Look, the baby is going on a picnic." And so on. 
  • David Walker's illustrations are warm and friendly. The whole book is basically an idealized view of life from a toddler's viewpoint, with friendly people waving in the grocery store, and a cheerful yellow bird singing as the family's car drives by. 

Baby Says "Moo!" is a child-friendly read-aloud with enough rhyme to encourage repeat readings, but not enough to grate on the reader's nerves. The illustrations are cozy and welcoming, with soft colors and smiling characters. I'm grateful to Baby Bookworm for bringing this one into our regular reading rotation. Recommended for babies and toddlers. 

Publisher: Disney Hyperion (@DisneyHyperion)
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).