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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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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Despite the occasionally ambiguous text, a good, strikingly illustrated conversation starter about animals, their habitats,...

THE SAFARI SET

From the Mibo series

Come for a safari and explore five common animals of Africa’s savanna: lion, giraffe, elephant, hippopotamus, and zebra.

Each animal is featured on two double-page spreads in this informational board book, and the rhyming text, mostly one sentence per page, gives toddler-appropriate facts about that animal, though they are occasionally a little ambiguous. “Elephants are really smart, / with a super sense of smell. // They like to care for relatives / when they’re not feeling well.” The first page gives an introduction to the characteristics of the habitat, but the word “savanna” is not included in the book, and the only mention of Africa, where these animals live, is on the last page. The last page has one fun fact about each animal (“Each zebra’s stripes are slightly different, just like our fingerprints,” although all five zebras on another page look dramatically similarly striped) and a brief environmental plea to work together to help preserve habitat. Illustrations are colorful, bold, and geometric and really carry the book. The only child in the book is a brown-skinned, dark-haired child standing with the giraffe. The other two books in the series are similar. The Jungle Crew is set in the rainforest (that word appearing only on the last page); The Polar Pack includes both North and South Polar regions, and apart from the polar bear, does not specify in which polar region the penguin, walrus, reindeer, and snowy owl are found.

Despite the occasionally ambiguous text, a good, strikingly illustrated conversation starter about animals, their habitats, and our part in protecting these environments. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-908985-83-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Button Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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