SNAP!

STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE!

Novelty pull-tabs combined with fascinating animal-tongue facts.

Face it: Tongues are weirdly enthralling to toddlers and preschoolers, who are going to be even more intrigued after experiencing this lively board book. Inside, readers get up and close and personal with five different animal faces. Pull the tab from their mouths, and a tongue emerges, from an insect-covered anteater’s to an unexpectedly blue, leaf-coated giraffe tongue. Once the tongue’s out, let go—and snap!—it recedes with a satisfying noise, as though the animal is hungrily devouring its meal. Because the elastic that enables this special effect seems both well attached and robust, the snapping feature should attract and withstand plenty of action. The accompanying tongue facts are genuinely cool. Who knew that a blue whale’s tongue “weighs as much as an elephant” or that the chameleon’s “tongue is hollow”? Sitting against mostly white backgrounds, the page-dominating animal collages feel as energetic as their springing tongues. Brilliantly colored papers are cut, ripped, layered, and painted, making the critters feel three-dimensional. The few strategic background elements, such as a diminutive scuba diver alongside the blue whale or the paper wasp’s nest (incorrectly identified as a beehive) behind a sun bear present the animal’s scale. If the book has a downside, it’s that there’s not enough of it.

Snap this one up. (Novelty board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7941-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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The game element doesn’t fly, but the art and interactive panels will attract toddler interest.

BUGS AND OTHER LITTLE CRITTERS

From the Matching Game Book series

Peek through sliding panels to discover all manner of insects and small creatures.

Though the “critters’’ might be little, this is one hefty board book! While the series of eight sliding panels clustered on the recto of each spread makes the book’s solid cardboard construction essential, they also make it unwieldy. The back-cover proclamation that this a “great take-along travel activity” notwithstanding, this is not a book caregivers will toss in a diaper bag. Opening the book, readers find a vibrant landscape on the verso of each spread, with five distinct habitats including watery pond, cheery meadow, and eye-catching nocturnal scene. Clearly labelled bugs and creatures mill about, with a satisfying mix of common (ladybugs) and uncommon (weevils) bug and animal species. Opposite the scene, eight smoothly moving panels hide four matching pairs. Though there are general suggestions of games to play with the panels written in itty-bitty text, the list of ideas (match the animals, locate them on the scene, hide the critters, and play I spy) feels half-hearted and repetitive at best. Better are the cartoon illustrations that make spiders, bats, and mosquitoes look as friendly as these creatures can, with large eyes and unobtrusive smiles. Intense, almost garish primary colors are forcefully cheerful.

The game element doesn’t fly, but the art and interactive panels will attract toddler interest. (Novelty/board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40802-465-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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Whimsical yet satisfying, this book will have even the most down-in-the-dumps fans of musical children’s media dancing along.

HOG WILD!

A FRENZY OF DANCE MUSIC

The doyenne of children’s rhyming texts gives listeners of all ages a musical collection accompanied by her signature animal performers.

Each of the 11 songs is given three different treatments: a few pages with words to read and pictures to enjoy, the accompanying sheet music for budding musicians, and a CD with bouncy, cheery songs sure to get little bodies moving. A star-studded cast including Samuel L. Jackson, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Laura Linney perform, creating a musical compilation perfectly appropriate for the youngest listeners and also remarkably aesthetically pleasing for parents and caregivers. Songs range from jazzy to folky to electronic, with a full orchestra behind. Boynton’s expressive animal characters are in full force here, with a rollerblading robot, worried hippos rushing around Manhattan, and a charmingly nerdy T. Rex in need of a self-esteem boost. The text is suited more for singing aloud than reading aloud, but any household with a CD player could find something to love.

Whimsical yet satisfying, this book will have even the most down-in-the-dumps fans of musical children’s media dancing along. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8992-3

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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