No doubt preschoolers will enjoy learning about the various breeds of cat, but it’s the whimsical illustrations that really...

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A CARNIVAL OF CATS

A carnival theme runs through the illustrations in this brief introduction to different breeds of cats.

Rhyming text and a window at the center of the right-hand pages suggest a certain type of cat. For example: the first window frames the paws and part of the face of an orange-and-black kitty cat, and the accompanying text reads: “Orange and black / from head to toe. / Could that be a….” Turn the page for the answer—“Calico!”—and an illustration of the calico cat grinning while swinging from a trapeze bar. The artwork, created with sepia ink, watercolor, and wax resist on paper, offers lovely, detailed pictures of all the felines frolicking about in carnival settings. In addition to the calico, the book features a tabby, Siamese, Persian, Maine coon, bobtail, Bombay, Russian blue, and a Scottish fold. The kitty riddles are framed with scenes of a little girl trying to identify a black-and-white cat, and the final heartwarming pages read: “Here comes that cat. / I know what kind. / He’s just a stray. / That cat is… // Mine!”

No doubt preschoolers will enjoy learning about the various breeds of cat, but it’s the whimsical illustrations that really make this one something to purr about. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0686-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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