In the new movie Inside Out there is a nice reference to how important books featuring animal sounds are to kids at a certain point in their lives. This was certainly true in our house. First, there was The Golden Book of Animal Sounds. It wasn’t particularly catchy, but both of our daughters made their first associations between the spoken word and the book in front of them with that very same book. Of course we loved it! A much funnier book was Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La. That book was a huge hit for many years. It had great illustrations and adorable characters. Even better, it was silly and got something wrong, so the kids had the opportunity to correct a grown up’s mistake. That little “slip” was just hilarious.
The best animal sounds book for us hands down was Paul Galdone’s Over in the Meadow. We went through multiple copies and learned it by heart. In addition to animal sounds,Over in the Meadow had counting, rhyming and Paul Galdone’s irresistible illustrations. Its buoyant spirit and cadence brought out the ham in the reader, so it was just all a lot of fun. It is sadly out of print, but copies can be found on line. Get one! If you can’t find the Galdone version, Over in the Meadow is a traditional nursery rhyme, so other versions are available.
Over in the Meadow demonstrates why animal sound books are so great. Kids get to hear their parents being silly and, hopefully, throwing lots of expression into their performances. I miss those days!