Over in the Meadow

Barefoot. Aug. 2021. 26p. Board $14.99. ISBN 9781646862887.
PreS-K–Meet the 10 animal families of the meadow in this board book version of the beloved English counting song. Follow the bumpy toad and her baby, as well as the wooly ewe and her two young ones. Learn the characteristic movements and sounds of each group: the swimming fish, basking lizards, cawing crows, or buzzing bees. Explore the meadow ecosystem and discover mice in the soft grass and muskrats amongst the reeds on the shore. McDonald’s illustrations capture the joyous noises and activity of the meadow. Scenes are rendered in a patchwork style that mimics applique and quilting. Stitchlike marks are employed to demarcate rolling hills, and quiltlike squares create swaths of wildflowers. The movement of the animals and the undulating lines of the background landscape complement the lilting and singsong rhythm of the text. The sounds and action of each creature is echoed by their offspring, and young readers will be eager to join in. Counting each animal group provides another opportunity to interact with the story. The last page provides some enlightening facts about the animals presented in the book.
VERDICT Image and language blend effectively in this board book version of an old favorite. Perfect for read-alouds.

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