CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 6 . . . .November 12, 2004
Hey, listen! What's that sound?
Sheepdog herds with a nip nip BARK
Sheryl McFarlane's pair of board books, In the City and On the Farm, invite very young readers to join her on a sound tour both of the city and the farm. Each page focuses on an animal or object and its distinct sounds, and the text is organized into rhyming couplets. As a result, there is a very upbeat rhythm to the books which are ideal for chanting aloud. The sound words are highly descriptive and use many examples of onomatopoeia, such as beep, shriek, purr, clang, swoop and wail. The rhymes in the farm book are more predictable as they tend to focus on animal sounds whereas the city book describes a variety of objects. This language choice allows the adult readers to add a lot of expression to their delivery of the books which, in turn, makes for a very entertaining experience for young listeners. The sound words are also printed in a large, bold font that further emphasizes their meaning. There is a very comfortable flow to the text as the tour moves from one stop to the next, and, despite the book's limited length, a sense of story is conveyed. Both board books conclude on a soft note with gentle reminders such as, "a hug says I love you without a sound."
The illustrations for In the City and On the Farm were created by Kim LaFave. The artwork has a modern, animated quality about it that successfully captures the reader's eye. The black, ink outlines emphasize the bright colours and subtle textures in the illustrations. There is enough contrast in the artwork to make it suitable for sharing with a larger group if need be.
Whether used as part of a five senses or farm theme at preschool or for family sharing at home, the What's That Sound? board books are sure to entertain.
Lisa Sykes has worked as an early-years teacher and teacher librarian and has recently returned with her family to Winnipeg, MB. As a mother of three young children, her home is almost always filled with sounds ... some more desirable than others!
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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.
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.