Young children love to touch, so they love pop-ups and other gimmicks. Let’s pull tabs and play with fun fur!
How about a very, very bitty Daffy the Duck milking a cow? The Baby Looney Tunes book, A Day On The Farm (words by Lee Howard, pictures by Adam Devaney, 2010, red dot) also features Baby Tweety, Bugs, Taz and Sylvester doing farm-ish things. There’s just four tableaux, for a youngster with a short attention span who loves Saturday morning cartoons.
Then there’s Buttercup Farm: Good Dog Jess (by John Patience, blue dot). Farmer Brown needs a new working dog, as sheepdog Meg is now in retirement. But this new puppy, Jess, is quite naughty. There’s hijinks at the dinner table and the chasing of chickens.
But what about sheep? Will Jess continue to be a bad dog, or will he step up when he’s needed? Watch the sheep pop up!
Both these books are small format, and easy for small hands to handle.
From the farm to the pantry: Move up to the more sophisticated tale, How Do You Feed A Hungry Giant? (written by Caitlin Friedman, illustrated by Shaw Nielsen, 2011, blue dot). It’s bigger in format and pop-uppery and filled with gentle humour. This is the story of a little boy and the Giant he finds in his backyard. And it’s snack time…
Let me tell you, giants can eat a lot. One giant serving could feed eight little kids. And our hero wants very much to help out his new friend with the growly tummy.
I’m not sure mom and dad are going to be too happy with the empty pantry, though…
Your own kids can also learn the secrets to holding successful dinner parties, since How Do You Feed comes with a Hungry Giant Cookbook. (Remember to put the recipes back when you’re done.)
Sometimes you can play with what isn’t there. The Hole Book (words Suzy Kline, pictures Laurie Newton, 1989, red dot) features one hole that becomes many. You can swim in holes, eat (donut) holes, and put keys in them. The very last sentence is on the back cover of the book, so read it through to the very, very, very end.
Sometimes every page is different, as with Qu’est-ce qui fait Bêê (from an idea by Melanie Random, illustrated by Jui Ishida). This fat little square book is green and cushiony on the outside, while inside every page features a texture — a sheep’s woolly body, a dog’s fur, an owl’s belly.
These are the animals a little sheep meets as it goes about trying to find another critter that will bêê baaaack. But all those animals make very different noises… A fun way for kids and parents to turn a dull old living room into a farmyard!
Children love pop-ups and gimmicks and, well, some grown-ups love them too.
— Eleanor Brown, June 28, 2013