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Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig; illustrated by Marc Brown

Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig

As the sun sets, the animals in the farmyard should be settling down for the night. But in Lindsey Craig’s Farmyard Beat:

“Chicks can’t sleep. Chicks can’t sleep.
Chicks can’t sleep
‘cause they got that beat.”

And so begins a toe-tapping dance party where each animal’s noisy contribution to the beat wakes up another. The chicks go peep and wake up sheep. Cat’s purr and meow wake up cow. The racket grows until it is so loud that Farmer Sue comes to investigate the noise. Of course, she joins in and the entire farmyard dances to the beat until they “fall in a heap. Asleep.”

This is a perfect preschool read-aloud book, especially for children who love animals. It is a picture book equivalent of Old MacDonald had a farm, and it won’t take many repetitions before the listeners are joining in with the different animal beats. Marc Brown’s use of shape, texture and pattern in the colorful collage illustrations truly brings the story to life on the page. While this is definitely not a good book for settling down before bedtime, it will quickly become a favorite.

But beware--once you’ve read this book, you’ll have caught the beat, too!

“Peep, peep, peepity peep. . . “