Creative—but doesn’t quite nail it.

BUILD!

From the TouchThinkLearn series

Put on your hard hat and get ready to build by moving construction-themed puzzle pieces about the page in this French import.

In a conversational narration, a pair of builders with black hair and tangerine skin congenially chat with each other and readers as they detail the many stages involved in building a home. After detailing how the duo erects the house, it warmly concludes with a new project: a baby so they might now “build [their] family.” As there’s a fair amount of text, studded with rich vocabulary like balcony and joists, it’s most suitable for older toddler and preschool listeners. Deneux’s signature style shines, with abundant white space and graphically simple renderings of people and equipment made primarily of bold, unlined geometric shapes in a cohesive palette of olive, crimson, goldenrod, and black. Where the book stumbles is in its interactivity. Conceptually, moving the pieces from a recessed area on the left page to a recess on the right to help the duo complete a building task is ingenious, as a square and rectangle become bricks or a triangle roof is added, but in practice, this requires some serious manual dexterity. Pieces designed to fit tight require prying to remove, and sometimes, placing the correct pieces into the slot is tricky. Caregivers will bemoan the many tiny parts as they disappear into bottomless toy boxes.

Creative—but doesn’t quite nail it. (Board book/novelty. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7871-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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10 LITTLE HOT DOGS

“One little hot dog sitting on a chair…” quickly multiplies to ten in this unimaginative counting book. Each turn of the page adds another dog to the plush blue chair. The wiener dogs play with toys and each other until the ten are tuckered out and fall asleep. The book then counts down as, one by one, the dogs awaken to continue their rumpus on the floor in front of the chair. While the dogs are cute, the text lacks the rhythm and rhyme that would truly make this come alive. Himmelman’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are filled with lively pups, but even their antics may not be enough to hold readers’ attention, as the scenery never changes. While they are easy to count, apart from the thin band of color on their collars the dogs are indistinguishable from each other, making it difficult for children to determine which dog joined, or left, the chair. With the dogs being so small in relation to the page size, this is best saved for one-on-one sharing with true dachshund lovers. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5797-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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A sweet and subtle book on sharing.

WHERE IS MY PINK SWEATER?

Rudy’s pink sweater is missing. Readers are invited to follow him as he searches for the sweater.

Rudy is a blue creature with a piggy snout, bunny ears, a thin, tufted tail, and a distraught look on his face. His beloved pink sweater is gone. “It was a bit too small and showed his belly button. But it was his favorite.” Where could it be? In a search that doubles as a countdown from 10 to one, Rudy makes his way through the different rooms of the house—top to bottom, inside and outside. As readers open the wardrobe door, “TEN tumbling cats” provide the first hint as to the sweater’s whereabouts. Following the pink yarn that runs across the pages, readers encounter some surprising creatures in each location—including a crocodile sitting in an outhouse busily knitting—as well as flaps to open and die cuts to peek through. Just as he’s about to give up hope—someone must’ve taken it, but “who would love wearing it as much as he did?”—the answer is revealed: “Trudy! His number ONE sister. The sweater fit her perfectly.” And, as is the nature of stories with a happy ending, Rudy gets a new sweater that fits him, from the knitting crocodile, of course. Plot, interactivity, vocabulary, and counting all contribute in making this an engaging book for the upper edge of the board-book range.

A sweet and subtle book on sharing. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3679-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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