Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs (Lisa Steele)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs, written by Lisa Steele and illustrated by Perry Taylor, an adorably informative instruction book for young poultry enthusiasts.

The book begins by introducing Violet, a Lavender Orpington chicken (based on Steele’s real-life hen) who lives on a sunny farm with a happy herd of chickens in a lovely coop. Violet is ready to become a mommy chicken, and there’s lots to do to prepare for little chicks of her own. The reader follows through the process of egg laying, brooding, hatching, and the early and adolescence of young chickens, and soon, they will be more than prepared to help care for chickens and chicks of their own.

Very cool! The many, many elements of breeding and raising chickens are simplified down to a kid-friendly format, then laid out in a pseudo-story, allowing children to learn as they invest in Violet and her chicks. The information is formatted especially well, making each new piece of information it’s own self-contained section, so as to educate without being too overwhelming or dry. The illustrations also do a great service here, visualizing the animals in a darling yet realistic style that provides engaging visual aides. This isn’t a true storybook, and not for reading in one sitting (though JJ still loved the art), but is a perfect book for families introducing their little ones to chicken farming. A wonderful resource for aspiring chicken fanciers and/or farmers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA (Jimmy Fallon)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA, written by Jimmy Fallon and illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez, a tongue-in-cheek picture book that pokes fun at certain fathers’ obsession with “Dada” being their baby’s first word.

On each spread, a pair of animals can be seen: father and child. “Dada,” says a bull with a grumpy expression to his calf. “Moo,” the calf replies. Each page repeats in the same manner, with the often surly-looking father repeating “Dada!” while their offspring replies with their unique animal call. At last, all the daddies gather together for one more try, with slightly more promising results… well, for the most part.

This has become a popular baby gift since it was published, and it’s easy to see why. It’s simple, has a humorous premise, and is a quick and easy read for little ones. The illustrations are no-frills, with characters constructed from basic shapes and environments that consist mostly of a single-color sky, ground, and a farm-themed embellishment or two. I wasn’t wild about how angry many of the daddy animals looked; it gave some of them a slightly sinister or aggressive feel that threw the tone off. However, it’s not a bad introduction to animals and their sounds, and yes, there is liberal repetition of the word Dada – even JJ was echoing it by the end. Honestly, a bit of a mixed bag for us, but it could be a fun read for very little bookworms and their, ahem, DADAS. Baby Bookworm approved!

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Doreen Cronin)

Hello, everybody! Our book today is Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, a funny yet relevant barnyard tale of civil disobedience.

Farmer Brown has never seen such a thing, and never heard it either: cows that type. The cows have gotten their hooves on an old typewriter, and suddenly Farmer Brown is finding notes on the door of the barn, demanding better living conditions in exchange for their milk (the barn gets cold at night, and they’d like some heated blankets). When he refuses, the cows go on strike, with their fellow chilly barn-dwellers the chickens joining them in solidarity. Duck, being a neutral third party, agrees to act as intermediary as Farmer Btown and his livestock negotiate terms. At last, they come to an agreement… but now another animal has been inspired to make demands of their own!

What a fun book! On the surface, the story is straightforward silliness, pitting the newly vocal cows against the flabbergasted farmer with deadpan language and a repeating chorus of “Click, clack, moo.” Beyond that, however, it is a surprisingly accurate representation of how worker’s strikes operate, and how unfairly-treated parties can fight for their rights. The illustrations are very cute, full of barnyard animals for little readers to identify and subtle humor that fits the story’s feel. The length is perfect, and JJ had a lot of fun with this one. It’s easy to see why this one has become a modern classic, and it’s definitely Baby Bookworm approved!