Babies, toddlers and very young emergent readers will delight in the strong, playful rhythm and energetic and detailed...

READ REVIEW

THE FARMER'S AWAY! BAA! NEIGH!

Time to play!

Mischievous farm animals have a day full of adventure when their farmer sets out on his tractor early one morning. Colorful acrylic spreads burst with action, while the cheerful, catchy text consists entirely of rhymed, onomatopoeic animal sounds (“neigh neigh baa baa / moo moo tweet / honk honk oink oink / arf cheep eek”) as the frolicsome cows, horses, birds, pigs, dogs and mice, as well as other animals, sing together to form a nonsensical chorus that toddlers will happily join. The endpapers show each animal with its sound, so children can refer back as they learn to match the sounds to the farm’s various inhabitants. There’s not much these creatures can’t do, from climbing the roof and paddling down the river to hosting a proper picnic, riding a speedy roller coaster, waterskiing across the bay, flying in a plane and even dancing in the moonlight. But what will happen when the farmer returns? “Shh shh shhhhhhhh…,” Where’s that mouse? “Eek!”

Babies, toddlers and very young emergent readers will delight in the strong, playful rhythm and energetic and detailed illustrations in this introduction to the noisy world of animal sounds. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6679-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Creative, comedic, and carrot-loads of fun.

A IS FOR ANOTHER RABBIT

An obsessed narrator creates an alphabet book overrun with rabbits, much to the chagrin of an owl who wants to create a “proper, respectable” alphabet book.

The picture book begins, “A is for A rabbit,” an illustration of a large brown rabbit taking up most of the recto. The owl protagonist—presumably the co-creator of the book—points out that “rabbit” begins with “R.” “Yes, but “a rabbit” starts with A,” says the narrator, before moving on to “B is for bunny,” which, as the owl points out, is just another name for rabbit. Despite the owl’s mounting frustration, the narrator genially narrates several rabbits into existence on almost every single page, rendered with such variety that readers will find their proliferation endlessly amusing. The letter D, for instance, introduces readers to “delightful, dynamic, daredevil RABBITS!” (a herd of biker rabbits), and although the narrator says “E is for Elephant” (which momentarily satisfies the owl), the image depicts several rabbits poorly disguised as an elephant. Much to the owl’s chagrin and, ultimately, exhaustion, the narrator grows more and more creative in their presentation of their favorite animal as the picture book proceeds down a rabbit hole of…well, rabbits! Batsel’s debut picture book for readers already familiar with the English alphabet is funny and highly entertaining. The whimsical narrative and the colorful images make this an excellent elementary-age read-aloud.

Creative, comedic, and carrot-loads of fun. (Picture book. 4-8)/p>)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2950-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status.

I BELIEVE IN BUNNYCORNS

Copious amounts of glitter and rainbows and a die-cut rainbow flower add a bit of interest to this celebration of the titular one-horned bunnies.

With simple, rhyming text and high-contrast, neon illustrations, this book is like cotton candy for the eyes and ears. Like that sugary confection, it’s sweet—arguably, too much so. “We’re going on a bunny hunt / to find the bunnycorns. / We follow trails of sparkle dust / and look for shiny horns! // We’ll find them in the places / where candy carrots grow. / I CAN SEE A BUNNYCORN! / Let’s go and say hello!” As the claims about the bunnycorns grow more extravagant, the artwork explodes in garish bursts of color. As for the aforementioned die-cut flower, it starts as a large cutout on the front cover of the book, becoming progressively smaller through each successive page, till it ends as a glittery, yellow single flower on the second-to-last double-page spread. In the denouement that follows, the narrative voice breaks the literary fourth wall: “If you believe in bunnycorns, / then they’ll believe in you. / ’Cause bunnycorns are special, / and baby, YOU are too!” The use of bunnies, of course, constitutes a radical departure from author McLean and illustrator Le Tandé’s 2019 opus, I Love My Llamacorn.

Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12643-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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