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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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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A PIG IS BIG

“What’s big?” asks a pleasant pink pig as he compares himself to cows, cars, trucks, streets, the neighborhood, the city, and the earth, and finally to the universe, which “makes everything seem small.” Although the concept of relative size is well taken, the expansion from self to universe is flawed by the incongruity of some of the images. The pig and the cow squeeze into a model T–type car that is stuck in the mud, but are towed by a modern tow truck into a modern city. In the final sequence, the sun seems smaller than the earth. A simple verse pattern carries the lilting text with each verse ending with the repetitive phrase “What’s bigger than . . .” Florian’s double-paged watercolor paints and colored pencil are soft and muted, sometimes too muted, particularly in background areas. Occasional flashes of humor illustrate the text as the cow and the pig travel through a city populated by animals at work and at play. It ends with an amusing image of the pig as a constellation in the universe. Not Florian’s best effort, but a good conversation-starter with a young child about comparative size. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-17125-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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