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Moo Baa La La La Board book – November 30, 1982
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Just a few set-up lines and Boynton is ready for the book's main joke:
"A cow says MOO."
"A sheep says BAA."
"Three singing pigs say LA LA LA!"
"'No, no!' you say, 'that isn't right.
The pigs say OINK all day and night.'"
Practice your dramatic abilities and really ham it up (pun intended) when you read the singing pigs and "that isn't right" lines on pages 3 and 4. There's also some action (dogs chasing cats), and a nice quizzical conclusion: ("It's quiet now. What do you [underlined] say?")
Boynton's familiar style is whimsical and slightly tongue-in-cheek. Her animals have very expressive, human-looking emotions, conveyed mostly through the eyes. For example, a quacking duck and a neighing horse aren't intrinsically very interesting, but when they're facing each other with similarly baffled faces, there's a subtle humor. The singing pigs, by the way, are anything but subtle. They're pizzazed out in coordinating striped pants, solid sports coats, and elegant white bow ties. They excited pigs dance in unison and hold canes in a showy vaudeville style. For a short and simple board book aimed at the very young, this is lots of fun. For older toddlers, take a look at Boynton's counting book with a difference: "Hippos Go Berserk!" She knows and loves her animals, and so will your little one.
Well, after my baby arrived I read it to her and now, 2 years later, I still read it to her and she says the words with me with the greatest animation a 2 year old can give. It is a very funny book to a small child and in turn becomes a funny book for the parent watching them get so much pleasure out of it. I recommend this one to anyone with a child under two. In fact, if I could only have 1 book for my child in her first 2 years, this would be it hands down! La..la..laaaa!
The rhythmic cadence of the words (always a grabber for the very young), the simple wording, the silliness that can be enhanced by mom or dad's tone of voice when reading aloud, and most of all, the use of the word "you," bringing the child into the story, combine to make a treasure of a book.
Oh...did I mention Sandra Boynton's incredibly endearing pictures of animals? Rendered in bright, beautiful colors on sturdy, indestructible pages, they are worth the price of the book. I'll bet you anything you sneak one more look long after night-night.