An environmentally conscious charmer.

LITTLE DUCK

From the All Natural series

Follow Little Duck as she frolics in her pond. Pick up this board book and immediately notice the pleasing matte, cardboardlike texture of the paper. On the book’s cover, an illustrated leaf proclaims the materials to be “all-natural,” which the publisher attributes to the use of eco-friendly inks and all-recycled paper, a fact that’s sure to delight eco-conscious book buyers. Inside is a pitch-perfect toddler tale chronicling Little Duck’s mild adventures, from splashing into a pond, spotting a dragonfly, greeting a friendly frog and fish, and briefly losing (and then immediately relocating) her siblings to “cuddles [from] Mama” at the end. A direct, matter-of-fact narration recounts the list of activities, striking the perfect balance between sentences concise enough to hold little ones’ attention while adding a smattering of rich vocabulary: “Little Duck is curious and swims closer. The dragonfly’s wings glitter brightly in the sun.” Collagelike illustrations composed of rounded, unlined shapes make the main character look rather like a cheery rubber ducky while minimal and coarsely textured natural environments are pleasantly atmospheric. Because of the unbleached paper, the colors are rather dull, and the lack of contrast gears this for somewhat older readers. A companion book, Little Fox, is equally gentle but suffers from a static main character and an unfortunate typo that confuses the book’s timeline. An environmentally conscious charmer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2694-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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