Let me open by confessing: I'm not a Maisy fan. Those books have never done it for me. But when these two new releases made my January sampler box, I gave Cousins the benefit of the doubt. It turns out the bright, thick-bordered illustration style bugs me more when it's coupled with anthropomorphic animals! It works better with these, for me! It's like I can cope with semi-crude, over-stylised juvenile illustrations if they're representative of actual creatures. Pair the same with magically talking-mice and I'm out. Magically-talking mice should be rendered more realistically, apparently. All of the books I like with talking mice are more realistic. I can't wholly justify any of this, but there it is, people.
Hooray for Fish, Lucy Cousins
This book now comes in board book format and serves as a Jane-of-all-trades embedded education book. Counting, colours, all those things babies need to know...with fish! The move to board book is wise, because our audience sample response confirmed this reads rather young (my crowd wasn't impressed; even Mia, 3, wasn't buying in). If you know a toddler fan of Maisy OR fish then you're in business!
This bright bird bonanza on the other hand, my girls ate up! They're still in a bird phase. Although it is a listy rather than narrative book, I could reread it regularly for its vocabulary. Out in March, and a great addition for a mixed age-range family -- the bright pallette will keep the younger ones stationary while the contextual language consolidation will be enough for the older listeners. It's not inspirational brilliance, it's got enough just enough low-use words to make it valuable.
Review copies received from Walker.