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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A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)

THE BUNNY RABBIT SHOW!

The bunnies that inhabit Boynton’s colorful world put on a musical show for the other animals.

The rabbits have taken over the theater. They dance and sing, bragging about their long ears and twitchy noses for the pigs and chickens in the audience. The rhythmic chorus—“We are ten terrific rabbits and we like to dance and sing. / Ten terrific rabbits. We can do almost anything”—is mighty infectious. The author’s trademark wit and humor are on full display as the other animals dress up like bunnies and join the massive grand finale. The barnyard cast forms a musical troupe that amuses and delights. Adults will appreciate the clever sight gags, and small children will appreciate the tasteful boasting and empowering jingle. While it’s not as complete a vehicle for inculcating emergent language skills as many of Boynton’s other books, there’s no denying it’s got verve.

A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8060-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2014

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Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe.

MEET BABY SHARK

Little ones meet Baby Shark’s extended family and friends in this board-book version of the viral online Pinkfong video.

Sensibly, this offering does not attempt to replicate the song, since readers have likely viewed it multiple times if the 3.5 billion views (and counting) are any indication. Each line of this version is shared on a double-page spread featuring a character: Baby Shark, the rest of the Shark family (Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa), and a couple of critters not mentioned in the song (Baby Turtle, a terrified fish named William, and Pinkfong, the brand’s fox logo). The primary text will be meaningful only to readers familiar with the song: “GRANDPA SHARK DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO.” A few words about each character and how they relate to Baby Shark accompany their appearance: “Grandpa Shark is wise and smart. He enjoys sharing his cooking skills with Baby Shark.” Rounded tabs at the top and the right margin of the book allow little fingers to easily turn the pages and readily access their favorite spreads. The two-dimensional gum ball–colored art is true to the source, and fans will not be disappointed. While Mommy and Daddy are color-coded in pink and blue, respectively and stereotypically, the rest of the creatures featured are not assigned colors based on gender.

Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-296589-9

Page Count: 18

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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