January 13, 2014

Baby Says Moo by JoAnn Early Macken, illustrated by David Walker

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:27 am by suebe2

Baby Says Moo
by JoAnn Early Macken
illustrated by David Walker
Disney/Hyperion Books
 
Baby has a favorite word for every situation.  No matter what anyone else says or asks, Baby has one and only one response.  “Moo!”
“What do people say when they see each other?”
“Moo!”
“What do cats say?”
“Moo!”
“What do dogs say?”
You guessed it – “moo!”
It takes a while for Mom and Dad to stop at the grocery store and drive cross country before they finally get to their picnic spot.  What do they find there?  A cow, but by then baby is fast asleep.
This is a fun story for toddlers and preschoolers. They will love knowing the right answers to Mom and Dad’s questions, but they will also love Baby’s ability to bring things to a halt by answering again and again, Moo.
As much as young readers love the repetition and predictability of the cumulative tale, they are torture for many adult readers.  Fortunately, this may be a cumulative tale, but it is unique in that the repetition isn’t word for word.  Instead, the order of the animals and the ideas are the same, but there is some creative word play.
“A bird says moo?  Well, isn’t that sweet?  But everybody knows that a bird says tweet.  People say hello, and a cow says moo, sure as we will always be me and you.”
Instead of repeating this word-for-word after baby sees a cat, Macken shakes things up:
“A cat says moo?  I can’t see how.  Everybody knows that a cat says meow.  A bird says tweet, and people say hello.  A cow says moo wherever you go.”
The result is a story that has the predictability that children love in a cumulative tale without the tedium that can drive the adult reader crazy by the end of the book.
–SueBE
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