McLachlan shows an astute understanding of how to produce belly laughs in the young; this funny read-aloud would also be a...

WHAT NOISE DO I MAKE?

Canadian artist McLachlan creates a new twist on the often pedestrian visualizations of animal noises depicted in many picture books in this genre.

Calling the bluff on this type of book by implicitly acknowledging that of course the actual noises animals make cannot truly be represented in text and pictures, the artist creates a lively template for young readers and their adults to improvise and vocalize the sounds of all kinds of animals, from the ordinary cats and dogs to the extremely unusual, including pangolin, kookaburra, aye-aye, and tamarin. One or two simple, cartoonlike, vividly and often fancifully colored illustrations of animals are shown on each page, with an expressive speech bubble approximating the animal’s sound—except when the sound does not portray the expected animal. What says, “Bark! Bark! ARF! ARF!”? A seal, of course! A horse and a zebra kind of look the same, but the horse says, “NEIGH,” and the zebra says, “squirp squirp.” Suspense is created when an animal is shown silent on one page, only to make a huge noise on the next. Then there is the mysterious giraffe, which says nothing for several pages and reappears at the end with a comment from a parrot: “giraffes can talk but usually don’t.”

McLachlan shows an astute understanding of how to produce belly laughs in the young; this funny read-aloud would also be a terrific prelude to a zoo visit. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77147-150-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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