CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 19 . . . . May 11, 2007
First published in 1998 as a picture book, I Heard a Little Baa has been reissued as a board book which, given the book’s contents and intended audience, is likely a much better format as little fingers will more easily handle the thicker pages. Each two pairs of facing pages form a “puzzle” unit which involves the child’s identifying an animal or insect. The first pair of facing pages provides three clues within the three lines of verse with the first clue being the sound the animal makes (a little baa) and the second a partial visual description (wooly face). After a few pages, the listening child may also come to recognize that the final word in the second line is a rhyming auditory clue (sleep/sheep). These pages also offer visual reinforcement with a bit of the “critter” able to be glimpsed in the illustration which also incorporates a speech balloon that includes the sound ordinarily made by the creature. The next pair of facing pages provides the “answer” both in a single line of text and via the illustration which now reveals the animal/insect in its entirety. In all, the book offers seven puzzles to be solved. Phillips’s brightly coloured, but simple, cartoon-like illustrations perfectly complement MacLeod’s text.
A terrific gift for that new baby, the board book version of I Heard a Little Baa should be in all libraries serving toddlers.
Dave Jenkinson teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.