Lifting the flaps will easier for children than lifting the book
Moo. By Matthew Van Fleet. Photography by Brian Stanton. Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 18 pp., $16.99.Ages 2–4.
By Janice Harayda
There are books that children can’t put down. Then there are books, like Moo, that some can’t pick up.
This obese book weighs nearly two pounds, about 10 percent of the average weight of the group most likely to respond to it, 2-year-olds. Would you want to lift 10 percent of your weight every time you felt inclined to pick up a book? If you aren’t sure, consider: The average American adult weighs 191 pounds if male and 164 pounds if female, according to government research. So you’d be lifting — and hauling around — a 16- or 19-pound tome.
Yes, 2-year-olds could turn the pages of this book if you laid it on a table, and no doubt many would enjoy it. Moo is a touch-and-feel, lift-the-flap book that uses bold color photographs and a scant rhyming text to describe the sounds and behavior of seven baby and barnyard animals – cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and horses. But the book lacks a signal charm of its ancestor Pat the Bunny, dimensions that allowed it to fit into small hands. Why read a new behemoth before a well-proportioned classic?
Best line/picture: “Now the day is done and with a / Moo cow, moo / Goodbye from all the animals … / cock-a-doodle doo!”
Worst line/picture: “Mommy hen, / Fuzzy chicks, / Roosters strut and stretch. / Cluck chicken, / Eat chicken – peck, peck, peck!” Stretch does not rhyme with peck.
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© 2102 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.