- Everybody Says Meow by Constance Lombardo
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-268988-7 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R 3-6 yrs
Our master of ceremonies, an unnamed gray cat, announces it’s now “that magical time when everybody says, ‘Meow!’” It’s not too long before this plan goes awry, with nearby dogs, frogs, and ducks adding their “woofs,” “ribbits,” and “quacks,” to the mix. After some initial resistance, the cat concedes that instead it’s “that magical time when everybody says whatever they want.” Repetition of the cat’s request (“Everybody says, ‘Meow.’ One guy says, ‘Woof’”) interspersed with comedic interludes of misunderstanding allow this readaloud to swiftly become a read-along, and little ones will quickly join in with the various animal sounds (the book cleverly uses textual color coding to connect the animal sounds to their respective speakers). The sharp black outlines and detailing of the characters are softened with watercolor washes and backgrounds and a simple but zestily cartoonish drawing style. The introduction of a new character at the very end provides a final comic punch that will leave listeners giggling and wanting more.