cover image BOOK! BOOK! BOOK!


Deborah Bruss, , illus. by Tiphanie Beeke. . Scholastic/Levine, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-13525-2

When the children leave the farm to go back to school, the bored barnyard animals head to the library in search of something to do. But their language ("Neigh! Neigh!" and "Moo! Moo!") is only so much noise for the kindly but confused librarian—until a determined hen flaps in and clucks "Book! Book! Book!" Soon, the gang is back on the farm happily having a story hour of their own (the cow even presents a puppet show). The plot of this debut book may be predictable, but Beeke's (The Brand New Creature) acrylic-and-watercolor paintings buoy the story. With a cheery, naïf style and dappled, Easter-basket colors, the artist makes every full-bleed spread look like a sunny mural composed by young library goers, and her vignettes keep the attempts at communication tightly focused. Even though her characterizations are deceptively simple, the resolve of the plucky fowl and glee of the newly book-equipped animals shines through. Young bibliophiles in particular will appreciate Beeke's depiction of the library as a welcoming place of fun and possibilities. Ages 2-6. (May)