Hello, friends! Our book today is Sun and Moon Together by Ethan Long, the second title in the creator’s Happy County series.
Welcome back to Happy County, a busy and bustling little township filled with friends, facts, and fun. Once again structured in a digest-style narrative – featuring 18 chapters that run one or two pages each – readers spend two days with with residents of Happy County as they go about their days. Along the way, readers can learn vocabulary words, spot designs at a hot air balloon festival, learn about solar power, join a ssssavvy ssssnake ssssalesman, and much more.
Colorful and fun, but slightly uneven. Long’s Richard Scarry-inspired Happy County is just as wonderfully illustrated as before, with lots of details, visual gags, and nods to fans of the series’s previous book. However, the topics covered in each spread don’t have the same seamless flow that Hello, World! managed: while vocabulary pages, a collection of night sounds, and a cute mother-daughter tale of evening shadows are winners, the abrupt introduction of higher scientific concepts like the phases of the moon and photosynthesis fall short. These spreads feel either unnecessarily lengthy for the light and breezy narrative (a description of the water cycle stops a read-aloud dead), or far too brief to get a solid understanding of the material (how exactly do tides work?). This makes for an uneven storytime, though the length overall was still fine, and JJ loved the artwork; additionally, both text and illustrations are built for repeat perusals. Overall, not as cohesive as its predecessor, but still a colorful and enjoyable book for little readers. Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)