Julia King (author); BINGO EXPLORES THE FARM; Julia King (Children's: Picture Books) $15.99 ISBN: 9780983982708
Byline: Maria Siano
Bingo, a gray cat, goes looking for adventure and ends up on a farm. While he embraces the chance to explore, he also experiences some trepidation as he encounters unfamiliar animals and objects.
Appropriate for children in the early stages of learning to read on their own, the story will appeal to children familiar with working farms who recognize many of the animals and objects depicted, and it could also serve as an educational tool for those not as familiar with farm life.
A few words, such as "mechanic," "frustrating," and "concentration," may be too advanced for the target audience and will require adult assistance to pronounce and understand the meanings.
Over the course of his adventure, Bingo becomes bored, fearful, and, finally, at ease and comfortable. And although his dealing with these feelings is revealed as a prominent message at the very end of the story, this theme would be more recognizable throughout the story and have more impact if a parallel structure was used and repeated each time the cat experienced a different feeling.
The visuals include photographs of Bingo in various scenarios, providing a realism not found in other books in the genre that rely strictly on artists' illustrations, but several photographs look too similar and the lack of variety may not fully capture the attention of the age group.
A strength of...