This multiethnic title is not memorable enough to become a bedtime favorite.

READ REVIEW

HUSH A BYE, BABY

From the New Books for Newborns series

This third title in the New Books for Newborns series features multiethnic dads getting their infants ready for bed.

Each double-page spread shows a different child with their male parent engaged in bedtime rituals. Four lines of rhyming text, each time starting with the same first line, point out nighttime objects. “Hush a bye, my baby. / Can you hear the owl call? / Time to close your eyes gently / as night starts to fall.” The text is for the most part simple and uses familiar vocabulary, but sometimes scansion falters. Although the hair and skin colors in this book range from pale to rich brown, most of the dad-and-child pairs seem to be racially similar, and no distinctly biracial child is depicted. Illustrations in a soothing pastel palette show a fair-skinned, red-haired dad carrying a tired, fair-skinned, brown-haired baby up the stairs; a dad with brown skin and brown hair holds a similar-looking baby wrapped in a towel; and a dad and child with dark hair and dark skin rock together in a chair, reading a book. Most of the dads are shown to be affectionate but not interactive with their infants. This series is meant for newborns, but the fine-lined, busy, and sometimes conceptually abstract illustrations may be more suitable for toddlers or even young preschoolers.

This multiethnic title is not memorable enough to become a bedtime favorite. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0139-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe.

MEET BABY SHARK

Little ones meet Baby Shark’s extended family and friends in this board-book version of the viral online Pinkfong video.

Sensibly, this offering does not attempt to replicate the song, since readers have likely viewed it multiple times if the 3.5 billion views (and counting) are any indication. Each line of this version is shared on a double-page spread featuring a character: Baby Shark, the rest of the Shark family (Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa), and a couple of critters not mentioned in the song (Baby Turtle, a terrified fish named William, and Pinkfong, the brand’s fox logo). The primary text will be meaningful only to readers familiar with the song: “GRANDPA SHARK DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO.” A few words about each character and how they relate to Baby Shark accompany their appearance: “Grandpa Shark is wise and smart. He enjoys sharing his cooking skills with Baby Shark.” Rounded tabs at the top and the right margin of the book allow little fingers to easily turn the pages and readily access their favorite spreads. The two-dimensional gum ball–colored art is true to the source, and fans will not be disappointed. While Mommy and Daddy are color-coded in pink and blue, respectively and stereotypically, the rest of the creatures featured are not assigned colors based on gender.

Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-296589-9

Page Count: 18

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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