The Story Orchestra series or Magali Le Huche’s Poppy and Mozart (2018) offer far better musical experiences for budding...

READ REVIEW

MY FIRST MUSIC BOOK

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Eight musical instruments sound off at the push of as many buttons in various musical settings.

The speaker, buttons (with pictorial stickers), and batteries are all packed into a plastic case attached to the side, so toddlers can push the buttons and hear snatches of tinny music without even opening the adjacent board book. That may be the best strategy, in fact, as each of Ameling’s cartoon scenes of round-headed, pop-eyed animals in action (marching in a parade, singing Christmas carols, onstage at a recital, and in like generic music-making situations) confusingly feature a printed button labeled “push here” that is placed nowhere near the plastic one and a second printed button with an instrument that is not on the sound board at all. A large majority of the instruments on view have no corresponding sound button, as it happens, and none are actually named. The brief tunes aren’t identified either, though at least some are recognizable bits of folk or other melodies. Although the board pages imply an audience of babies and toddlers, the busy compositions make it particularly ill-suited for them.

The Story Orchestra series or Magali Le Huche’s Poppy and Mozart (2018) offer far better musical experiences for budding Beethovens. (Novelty. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-7338-6148-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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The pieces are certain to end up scattered far and wide, but in the meantime, they do offer practice matching flora, fauna,...

OCEAN

From the Magnetology series

Forty-five magnetized items stored in a sturdy pocket can be used to fill up six nautical scenes.

The spreads—introducing the shore, beaches, coral reefs, the open ocean, and harbors—are lightly populated already but have been left with plenty of space to add any of the cartoon sea life, boats, water toys, and human workers or vacationers (all generally diverse of age and skin hue) that may fit or seem appropriate. The “Choking Hazard” warning should be taken seriously, particularly as some pieces are barely the size of a fingertip. These pieces will stay in place (absent sudden jars or rough treatment) as pages are raised or turned, and they can also be used to decorate any flat magnetized surface, although even the sailboats and other larger bits are not strong enough to use separately as fridge magnets. A final “Around the Ocean” spread acts as a key of sorts, identifying such nouns as “parrot fish,” “trawler,” and “snack” as well as such activities as “catch crabs” and “float.” It is so scattershot that readers and users may find themselves wondering how they were chosen for identification and not, for instance, “sea gull,” “buoy,” or “jellyfish.”

The pieces are certain to end up scattered far and wide, but in the meantime, they do offer practice matching flora, fauna, and general sights to various oceanic settings and shores. (Novelty. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 979-1-02760-429-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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