Hello, friends! Our book today is Romeo Explores The Garden by Alain Grée, an interactive book that explores the nature in our backyards.
Following the titular Romeo, a friendly anthropomorphic dog, the reader is taken along on a series of question-and-answers as he explores the garden. On each page, a question about a common garden creature or plant is asked (trees, flowers, bumbles, etc.), then the answer provided on the following page.
Pretty cute. The concept is fairly familiar but still well done, and the question-and-answer format is a nice element for reader engagement. The illustrations – made up primarily from reused images of Grée’s work in the 60’s and 70’s – has its positives and negatives. While the diversity of skin tones and classic storybook art style is cheerful and pleasant, there are pages where the repurposing is visually unappealing: one farmer squashed horizontally to fit inside a greenhouse looks bizarre, and a spread of cobbled-together frogs with a half-dozen different character designs is a visual mess. Also, one of the Q&A’s about hedgehogs may puzzle kids from the americas, where they’re a lot less likely to be found nosing around a garden. Otherwise, this is sweet board book with a good length,and JJ seemed to enjoy it. A little uneven perhaps, but it means well. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)