♫“Over in the meadow in the sand in the sun, lived a bumpy mother toad and her little toadie one.”♫
Have you ever picked up a book and been captivated by the rhythm of the language? How about really unique illustrations? If not, you’re in for a treat with our June Fireflies Book of the Month, Over in the Meadow. Published by Barefoot Books, Over in the Meadow was a NAPPA Honors winner in 2011.
Jill McDonald mesmerizes graphically with colorful collage-type illustrations. Children will be able to look at the cover design and tell right away that the book will feature animals that live on land and in water. All of the illustrations appear to “pop” off the page as the collage provides a three-dimensional look. All of the animals and other items in the book look like they were created and pieced together with different textures and colors of paper. Your children may recognize the artistic style of this selection if they remember the Book of the Month from September, If You’re Happy and You Know It!. It might be fun to invite children to compare the two books. Though the authors and illustrators are different, both books are published by Barefoot Books, which helps explain the similarity in the illustrations.
The story is a counting story, moving from one to ten. The number of each living creature increases by one as the story moves along. Children will have fun locating the mother and each of the babies in each picture. They will also enjoy performing the action suggested on each page. Older children can work together to count the total number of creatures in the book as you read. The rhyming and repetition make it easy for children to fill in words as you turn each page. McDonald includes two pages at the back of the book with information about meadows and the creatures that live in them. As a bonus, the words of this book are set to music.
You can access a video of the book here.