Cute but not exciting! (Board book. 1-3)




From the What's That Noise? series

An abundance of exclamation points helps to define this British import and its companions.

Upon first examination, the question posed by the four titles in the series—“What's that noise?”—seems like a winner. Sounds are an easy way to entertain babies who are not yet talking. Cute cartoon animals on each facing flap and an attractive graphic design that merges perfectly with the hidden page it conceals give clues to what will be revealed when the flap is opened. Large, full-page flaps and a wavy edge make for easy manipulation by little fingers. The problem for many American families is the British-specific vocabulary. Is “Dugga! Dugga! Dugga!” really the sound of a backhoe (labeled “Digger!”)? American families reading companion title Tap! Tap! Guess the Toy! will be startled to see a little raccoon playing with “Bricks!” (which alert parents will just call “blocks”), and few American parents will be able to keep a straight face when asked to call a car horn a “Hooter!” Toot! Toot! Guess the Instrument! is the best in the series, with clear images and universal sounds. In the fourth title in the series, Snap! Snap! Guess the Animal!, the animal characters that ask, “What’s that noise?” seem to have been chosen for cuteness, not because of any relation to the hidden creatures.

Cute but not exciting! (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-84643-746-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.


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 terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike.


From the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood series

Animated PBS character Daniel Tiger helps readers tell time.

Mr. Rogers–like (explicitly—the show is produced by the Fred Rogers Co.), Daniel Tiger welcomes his neighbors, inviting them to spend the day with him and learn to use a clock along the way. A large clock face with movable hands is accessible through a large, die-cut circle in the upper-right corner of each double-page spread. The hands click and clack as they’re moved around the clock’s face, and the sound is peculiarly satisfying. Each hand has a different noise, helping children to differentiate between the two. Daniel and his family and friends do lots of things throughout the day, including eating breakfast, going to school, running errands, eating dinner, and going to bed. The illustrations emulate the show’s rounded, calmly colored style. Fans of the television show will be entranced. Daniel’s constant engagement with readers will spawn busy interaction, and the fact that this book covers a whole day makes it an excellent read right before bed.

A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6934-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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