Can You Growl Like a Bear?

John Butler, Author, John Butler, Illustrator . Peachtree $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-396-2

This welcoming book showcases 10 familiar species that make distinctive sounds, then prompts youngsters to do their best imitations: “Can you growl like a bear,/ rolling in the snow?/ Can you chatter like a chimp,/ swinging to and fro?” Rendered in downy acrylics and colored pencils, Butler's (Ten in the Meadow ) animal portraits are both cuddly and impressively detailed. In one spread, a trio of dolphins glides through sky-blue water, their streamlined bodies dappled by sunlight; one baby dolphin looks directly at readers, offering both a sweet smile and greeting of bubbles through its blowhole. Although the text gently pushes its audience toward bedtime (“Everyone is quiet now,” nudge the final lines, “You can't hear a peep./ It's time to gently close your eyes/ and fall fast asleep”), there's plenty here to keep a circle of preschoolers entertained in broad daylight. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/01/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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