Despite the flaws, these colorful and shapely vehicles will appeal to the target audience.

READ REVIEW

AWAY WE GO!

A SHAPE-AND-SEEK BOOK

Shaped die-cut holes adorn a wide range of vehicles.

The basic forms—square, circle and triangle—are represented here, along with the more rare diamond, oval and heart. The featured shape on each page is a key element on one vehicle, like the triangular sail of a sailboat or the circular wheel of a tractor. Each vehicle gets its own page and is accompanied by a simple caption. Some of the shape and vehicle pairings are clever, such as the octagon doubling as the body of the cement mixer, but a few feel a little forced—in particular, the star as the front of the motorcycle, a visually baffling composition. The left-hand page of each double-page spread asks the reader a direct question (“Do you see a rectangle?”). Floating alongside the text is a small image of the shape, but the die-cut hole always appears on the facing page. Urban often uses several shapes to create the vehicles, and the die-cut holes are layered together, so more than one shape is visible. This makes this “shape-and-seek” game a bit more challenging than many. Bold, solid backgrounds offer a clean, graphic look, but several scenes look a little sparse, since the die-cut holes force the hand of the artist in terms of placement and layout. 

Despite the flaws, these colorful and shapely vehicles will appeal to the target audience. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46179-5

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot.

WHERE'S THE LADYBUG?

Little ones learn about bugs.

The world of insects and like small creatures is the focus of this sturdy board book. Each turn of the page gives readers a close view of a particular habitat. The text asks, “Where’s the ladybug?” or “Where’s the snail?” and little ones are encouraged to find the creatures under shaped felt flaps. A caterpillar poses under a leaf with a few bites taken out of it; a bumblebee flies behind a pink tulip. The flaps are made of a reasonably strong material, secured tightly within the book’s pages. Extremely determined readers may figure out a way to pull the flaps out, but most will enjoy flipping them up and over with ease. The last page of the book contains a mirror hidden behind a bush-shaped flap, and readers are asked “And where are you?” The insects smile with big eyes and are composed of large, circular, clean-edged shapes. The color palette is dulled, making the neon flaps pop effectively for little readers. Concurrently publishing companion Where’s the Giraffe? explores the world of jungle animals.

A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9335-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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