This box proves a bust.
The long case holds four separate books; two focus on animals living on the farm and the savanna, and the others describe pets and babies. Cartoon panels provide factual tidbits. The text, though for the most part accurate, lacks the energy to inspire a young audience. “The male duck is called a drake.” An imposing photograph appears opposite the panels, containing a circle cutout with material meant to provide a tactile experience of the animal. (The gimmick often fails; the baby panda’s coat is virtually indistinguishable from the penguin chick’s fuzzy feathers). A caption supplies the appropriate sound (“The lion roars”). Unfortunately, the photographs consistently fail to convey any sense of sound; if an animal's mouth is open, it is to eat or play (the lion cub appears more interested in gnawing on a stick than making any noise at all). Poor quality of materials (foam for the pink pig) makes for a lackluster tactile experience. The touch-and-feel design leads to comically contradictory statements; the back of the container encourages this format for “young toddlers,” while a concluding note reads, “not suitable for children under 36 months.”
Developmentally dull; there's nothing to cheer about here. (Board book. 2-3)