Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review: The Animal Boogie

Hi!  My name is Esmé. I am two-turning-three, and I got a new favorite book to tell you about today!  AND, it comes with a CD!

Here are the details:

Title:  The Animal Boogie
Author/Illustrator:  Debbie Harter
Sing-along CD singer:  Fred Penner
Genre:  Children's book - ages 3-7
Publisher:  Barefoot Books
Physical Description: 32-page paperback picture book with CD
List Price:  $9.99
ISBN:  978-1905236220
For More Info/To Purchase:
Twitter handle:  www.twitter. com/livebarefoot
Facebook URL:  http://www.facebook .com/pages/ Barefoot- Books/3399298471 5?ref=nf 

Can you boogie? Down in the Indian jungle, the children and animals are learning about actions like leaping, stomping, shaking and flapping while meeting different jungle creatures. 

About the Author:
Debbie Harter has brought life to many of Barefoot Books' most successful early learning books, including Walking through the Jungle (1997), Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon (1999) and A Dragon on the Doorstep (2005).  As a child Debbie would "lose herself in books (as long as they had pictures)" and hopes to continue doing so until she's very old.
Here's what I've got to say about the book (Mommy's words in bold):

What do you think about this book?  Should people buy it?  No!
Really?  Why not?  Because it's MY book!
Ah...  Well, should they buy their own book, just like this one, from the store?  Yes!
What do you like best about this book?  I like the elephant!  The PURPLE elephant?  Yeah!
Let's listen to it again!

What Mommy Likes:  There is so much to like about this book!  For starters, Esmé wants to read it over and over.  That's a good thing!  And I can just put the CD in so my voice doesn't go hoarse.  And it's repetitive enough that she's starting to figure out how to turn pages on her own, so I won't even have to help her with that!

The CD is a must, though a musical score sheet is included.  The Indian flute intro gets you in the zone.  The tune is catchy; we found ourselves singing randomly afterward, too.  You can play it with Fred Penner singing, or you can just play the sound track and sing it yourself.  I personally think Fred Penner does a much better job than I would ever do.

The illustrations are fun and colorful.  Who wouldn't love a purple elephant?  With red toenails?  The kids with each animal have similar colors and patterns on, so a fun color-matching game is to match each kid to his/her animal on the combined-cast page.

I loved the different ethnicities of the kids, and especially the little girl in a wheelchair.  Not the focus of the book, just naturally done.

And you can loosen up with the boogie woogie oogie refrain!  Lots of hand motions and fun to be had.

Not to mention the science lessons as to how animals move.  As we were singing afterward, I tested Esmé on which motion went with which animal.  She checked me on all of them!

What Mommy Doesn't Like:  I read this to Esmé the first time through without using the CD.  Bad idea - very boring for me!  First of all, I didn't know the tune, so it just seemed like a lot of repetition.  And there was no real storyline, and things didn't even rhyme perfectly.  Esmé didn't seem to mind, but it would've killed me to read it over and over.

Add the CD, and everything changed!  Now I could focus on the pictures, the actions, the little details, while Fred Penner did the reading.  It became fun, even for me!

I do read music, but the score sheet just wasn't doing it for me until I heard the CD.  So I strongly recommend getting the CD if you get this book...

Summary:  A fun book that will get kids learning without even realizing it.  Get the book!  With the CD...  Your kid will thank you!

In the meantime, here's the video (not a book trailer - an actual animated video!) to get you moving...

And a bonus link - another Barefoot Books video: Driving My Tractor.

Thanks to Barefoot Books for the review copy of this book, and to Mama Buzz for organizing the tour.

Still here?! Then let me tell you more about Barefoot Books. Barefoot Books is an independent publisher, with offices in Cambridge, USA and Bath, UK , that specializes in carefully crafted books, gifts and digital content that help children on their journey to becoming happy, engaged members of the global community. Since 1992, Barefoot Books has published more than 400 titles that use timeless stories and captivating illustrations to tap into the wisdom of many cultures, while never forgetting that childhood is a time for fun. Barefoot Books are available online through booksellers, and its community of Ambassadors. Visit Check out the mom-oriented history of Barefoot Books, as well as the Ambassador direct-selling opportunity to earn income or fundraise.