An interesting but limited introduction to animal onomatopoeia.

CHICKEN TALK AROUND THE WORLD

Chicken onomatopoeias explored in six different languages.

Author Schaefer brings readers on a linguistic tour of six countries on four continents to explore the very similar sounds human speakers make to mimic chickens and roosters. Sticking to major, widely spoken languages—English in the U.S., Spanish in Mexico, French in France, Swahili in Kenya, Hindi in India, and Japanese in Japan, to be precise—the text imagines young readers visiting grandmothers and their flocks around the globe. Two spreads per language, all ending with “Chicken talk in [insert language here],” introduce readers to their respective words for hens, roosters, eggs, and grandmas, complete with parenthetical English phonetic spellings. Illustrator Morgan’s blocky, pastel-like illustrations fill the pages with loving families and a variety of unspecified chicken breeds. While this may not be a read to return to again and again, it certainly opens up the concept of different languages’ approaches to sound. Disappointingly, though, the book ends with illustrations of each grandmother’s egg-based dish, and while the unnamed smiling children introduce readers to each language’s thank you, they provide no insight on their cultural foods. Altogether, a fine jumping-off point for a lifelong love of chickens, language, food, or all three—but with gaps.

An interesting but limited introduction to animal onomatopoeia. (Informational picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63217-291-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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