Thanks to the lovely folks at Pajama Press (who are celebrating their ten-year anniversary!), I have two picture books for review today: The Cow Said BOO! by Lana Button, illustrated by Alice Carter; and Windy Days by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Miki Sato. Both of these children’s books are perfect for the fall and Halloween season- happy reading!
“One day the cow has such a cold that when she tried to ”MOO,” her nose was super stuffy and the the cow said, ”BOOOOOOO”. Canadian author Lana Button and Canadian illustrator Alice Carter team up together to bring readers the funny and sweet picture book The Cow Said BOO!. Have you ever had a cold that so congested your poor nose and sinuses that your ‘m’s’ came out as ‘b’s’’? Well, when The Cow Said BOO! begins, readers learn that poor cow is struggling with a pretty bad cold. When they try to say ‘moo’ it comes out as a ‘BOO!’– which is actually pretty darn adorable and funny!- but for the other animal in her barnyard, the BOOs are not going over so well…especially after cow accidentally trips into a clothesline and gets herself trapped under a bedsheet! “‘Awk! the rooster crowed. What do we cock-a-doodle-do?” They thought the farm was haunted when the cow said, ”BOO!”. Mistaken for a boo-ing scary ghost, cow finds herself left out in the literal cold, only to come to the rescue of her barnyard friends in a moment of danger. One extra last-moment reveal (which I not spoil here!) adds an even more delightful layer to the story. The Cow Said BOO! is energetic and fun, with a delightful refrain (perfect for chanting), the bustling, sweet illustrations that make the picture book terrific read aloud material. Perfect for Halloween or seasonal fall reading, or for readers looking for a giggly, endearing and rhyming story, The Cow Said BOO! is a delight. Endpapers at the book’s end includes an adorably illustrated spread on how to ”scare away colds” with five steps for washing ”your hooves and paws” to sparkly clean and dry.
“Gentle wind, rising breeze/Scatters fluffy milkweed seeds/Gusting wind: whoosh and whirl/Flags a-flutter, pinwheels twirl”. The Canadian duo of author Deborah Kerbel and artist Miki Sato bring readers more fantastic seasonal adventures with Windy Days. I have had the pleasure of talking about the collaborators’ previous beautiful books Sunny Days and Snow Days; this new entry brings readers more weather experiences and seasonal excitement all to do with the wind. From softer of winds that lift dandelion seeds, to ”whistling wind [and] stormy song”, all the way to ”roaring wind, howling sky/restless storm clouds rolling by”, Windy Days take readers along through the seasons of the year and all of the amazing and amazingly different kinds of windy weather we can experience. Readers see the scenes change from spread to spread, noticing how types of winds (and clouds!) accompany various points of the seasons: from blowing pinwheels at a summer fair; apple picking at a farm as turbine towers work in the distance; to children and a puppy playing in a pile of leaves as winds swirl brilliant autumn colours all around them. As ever, Deborah Kerbel’s storytelling by way of sweet rhyming couplets and Miki Sato’s textured collage artwork make for a lively, tactile reading experience. Not only a lovely, gentle way to introduce concepts of weather to a young audience/young readers, but also, quite simply, a genuinely beautiful and clear rhyming story that gorgeously captures the childhood wonder in experiencing the natural world. Readers who have already read and enjoyed Snow Days and Sunny Days, other similarly short rhyming stories, or picture books about the seasons, might especially adore this. Back matter includes ideas for child-friendly wind-related science experiments, as well as a concise rundown of types of clouds. Note: Windy Days is published in “Toddler Tough” format: a more compact picture book size and form, with a padded cover and sturdy, slightly thicker glossy pages. Great for exploring little hands!
I received copies of these titles courtesy of Pajama Press in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions and comments are my own. Titles have been published and are currently available.