Hide-and-seek games can be engaging, but the small format and questionable food choice make sliding by a smart choice.



From the Mini Movers series

A tiny (about 3.5 inches square) board book is a hide-and-seek game featuring six rodents and the foods they eat.

On each page an animal asks who has been nibbling its food, and then a small slider reveals the guilty critter. A mouse munches a snail’s apple, a hare eats the mouse’s cabbage, a hamster nibbles on the hare’s carrot, the hamster chows down on the hedgehog’s mushroom, and so on. It is a cute conceit, but there is a problem, as eating mushrooms might well make both hamsters and hedgehogs (and humans) sick. The formulaic text begins with an exclamation (“Well now!”; “Hello?!”) before the question about who has been eating what. It has a bit of a British accent: the mouse asks, “Who has tucked into my cabbage?” The revelatory text under the slider is also sometime vertical instead of horizontal, which can confuse toddlers just learning the conventions of print. Three titles published simultaneously have similar formats (and snags). Knock, Knock, Who's There? follows a little monkey looking for its “daddy.” Creeping, Crawling, Who Goes There? introduces motion words. The most successful is Hey, Who Did That?, which includes visual hints about what will be revealed when the slider is opened.

Hide-and-seek games can be engaging, but the small format and questionable food choice make sliding by a smart choice. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7641-6867-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.


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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A sweet if uneven expression of parents’ love for babies.


A love song to baby.

Rhyming verse expresses animal parents’ love for their little ones and is accompanied by cartoon-style illustrations of animal families rendered in bold colors and rounded forms. The succinct text pairs nicely with the spare art style, which offers uncluttered spreads focused on the parent-and-child interactions. “You’re everything FRESH, / the morning’s first dew,” reads one spread, for example, which is illustrated with a picture of a panda cub standing on top of its prone parent while reaching for a dewdrop falling from a branch. Behind them, a blue background is warmed by a huge, yellow semicircle representing the rising sun. Other animal families occupy other pages, so there’s no sequential storyline to speak of, but the text as a whole is framed by an opening spread depicting crocodile parents waiting for their (very large) egg to hatch, and hatch it does in the closing spread, which reads, “You’re every wish answered, / our hearts, how they grew… / every day countless, / everything you.” While the sentiment here is heartfelt, this use of “every day countless” is one example of several instances when word choices undermine clarity.

A sweet if uneven expression of parents’ love for babies. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30141-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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