A bit of a turkey itself.

READ REVIEW

THIS LITTLE TURKEY

A board-book twist on “This Little Piggy” has turkeys making the preparations for the family feast.

The text echoes the familiar rhyme, even beginning with “This little turkey went to market.” Readers already introduced to standard animal-sounds books will wonder what happened when they get to the end and the turkeys sound a lot like the final piggy, singing, “We…we …we... / …wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!” What happened to “gobble-gobble-gobble”? Furthermore, the in-between activities feel selected to suit the rhyme scheme rather than logic: why would a turkey knit a sweater, and what does that have to do with Thanksgiving? Blanco distinguishes the turkeys from one another with clothing and comb style, but they all have the same wattle and chubby wings/arms. Gender stereotyping is incompletely avoided. A turkey in a fedora goes to market, while a turkey wearing a baseball cap and trousers with suspenders “swept the floor.” Both male and female birds help set the table, but turkeys in dresses and pompadoured combs mind the little turkeys until supper is served, knit that sweater, and eventually call everyone in to eat.

A bit of a turkey itself. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0302-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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