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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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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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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