Best when used or displayed alongside the blocks, where it might inspire young children to build their own shape-based...

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OUT OF SHAPES

The basic shapes—circle (in yellow), triangle (in red), square (in blue), rectangle (in orange)—combine to form easily recognizable objects.

A home, a truck, a rocket, a robot, a friend, and a kitty are revealed on the first pages. Then readers see a cake, a gift, and a party, revealing that this is a birthday story too. Just as each image is reduced to its essence, the author reduces a party to its essential elements. The economy of words is remarkable. This effort has some of the same design challenges as companion Critter Colors (also 2015). The muted color palette is not particularly eye-catching; the pale yellow used for both lettering and for the circle shape is hard to see when placed against white backgrounds. Parents or teachers might be tempted to try to use the book as an instructional tool. Each spread includes four smaller pictures that show the steps for re-creating the pictured object from the basic shapes. This activity is well beyond the manual dexterity of most of the board-book audience, though.

Best when used or displayed alongside the blocks, where it might inspire young children to build their own shape-based creations. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4220-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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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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Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.”

YOUR NOSE!

From the Boynton on Board series

A sing-along assurance that this little fox is totally special.

Originally included on Blue Moo, Boynton’s 2007 album of children’s music, this board-book version hits all the right notes. The fact that it lampoons Neal Sedaka’s “Angel Eyes” will no doubt go right over the heads of young children—and possibly even their parents—but they can hear Sedaka himself singing this version via a link on the publisher’s website (noted on the copyright page). That version is slightly longer than the board-book text, but nevertheless, children and adults will happily sing along. Several animals rendered in Boynton’s distinctive style make appearances. Nose-to-nose pairs of rhinos, bears, ducks, pigs, and bunnies accompany the species-inclusive line “everyone can find a way to happiness, I suppose.” But a doting fox and its kit are the book’s main characters. Their expressive eyes make their mutual delight clear, and their noses are very much in evidence. The refrain—“YOUR NOSE!”—is set in a larger font, helping even young children start to recognize the words. This unabashed celebration of this little fox’s uniqueness and the grown-up fox’s unconditional admiration is completely sincere and sure to be appreciated by toddlers.

Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.” (Board book (1-4)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-1021-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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