Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond, HarperCollins 1995. (Baby/Toddler)
Another book has migrated downstairs for my review. Before I wrote this review, I had to do a little research on the author. I vaguely remembered that she had no children and died young -- I was right: she never married, had no children and died of a post-surgery blood clot in 1952 at the age of 42. Yet her work lives on in a big way. Why?
Big Red Barn, like Goodnight Moon, reads like a lullaby. It is about impossible to not lull your voice when reading it. Its phrases end with a gentle rhyme, not forced-feeling rhyming couplets. And, also like Goodnight Moon, as the book winds down, the phrases become shorter until they just disappear and the story is over. That's why an adult at a child's bedtime would like. Why a toddler likes it, I don't know. It could be the animal noises interspersed in the story. It could be the lullaby effect of the book. It could be anything. I just know that my toddler likes it.
Felicia Bond is very well-known for her illustrations in the "If You Give..." series, and rightfully so. Her pictures brim with personality, color and humor. None of those qualities are lost in this edition of Margaret Wise Brown's classic.
For other reviews on books to borrow, see Louise's Blog in Blogs I Follow.