Blue Ridge Babies 1, 2, 3: A Counting Book

Page Street Kids. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781645670834.
Baby-Toddler–A delightful new adaptation of Over in the Meadow takes readers and listeners to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia. “Over in the Blue Ridge in the leaf-dappled sun/lived a gentle mother deer and her little fawn ONE. ‘Hide,’ said the mother. ‘I hide,’ said the ONE. So they hid in the forest full of leaf-dappled sun.” Part counting book, part natural history, this work introduces animals endemic to the Blue Ridge Mountains (squirrel, badger, trout, rabbit, salamander) and the collective nouns of their offspring (baby salamanders are efts). Readers will want to sing along; Gardner is precise in adapting to the original meter. Coleman’s illustrations, in some places displaying a translucence like tissue-paper collage, are bright and inviting for the prereaders who are going to adore this. Back matter includes basic information on some of the animals found in the book, as well as a musical score for the chorus.
VERDICT This will be a story time hit well beyond Appalachia. A first purchase for public libraries.

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