Relentlessly perky but, like other outings in this high-fructose series, not entirely empty calories.

READ REVIEW

SPACE

From the Pop-Up Peekaboo! series

A voyage to the moon, with surprises hidden behind large flaps along the way.

Astronauts Danny and Daisy blast off with a lift of the first flap (“Liftoff! Bye-bye, Daisy and Danny”), race another rocket that’s hiding behind a space station (“Peekaboo!”), discover Rilo the Robot in a locker, glimpse a pair of shy ETs, and finally plant a generic Earth flag on the plasticine moon next to a plaque with friendly greetings. Made from plugs of soft-looking material with rounded edges and brightly colored painted details, all of the spacesuited figures sport smiles, and all—including the three-eyed ETs—are differently hued. The rhymed narrative doesn’t exactly soar (“The moon is really close now. / It’s a great big ball of rock. / Is something hiding behind it? / Watch out! You might get a shock”), but fanciful as the flight may be, no laws of physics are actually broken, and exposure to such vocabulary as “launch tower” and “cockpit” may give diapered STEM-winders a boost.

Relentlessly perky but, like other outings in this high-fructose series, not entirely empty calories. (Pop-up board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7933-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A gentle underwater excursion.

OCEAN LIFE

From the Hello World! series

An ocean-themed entry in the Hello World series.

A white youngster with long hair sporting a swim mask encourages little ones to “Dive in and take a look!” at ocean life. Each double-page spread presents a different marine animal, including whales, dolphins, sharks, an octopus, a crab and a lobster, sea turtles, fish, and jellyfish. Two or three conversationally conveyed facts of interest are included per double-page spread, one of which is usually in a smaller type and marked with an asterisk for obscure reasons. “What’s that? It’s a sea horse? It can quickly change colors to blend with the background, helping it hide from enemies,” reads the larger text in one representative spread, while the text in the smaller font reads, “A sea horse father carries eggs in a pouch until they are ready to hatch.” A trio of children, all of whom have light complexions, build a sand castle on the beach and collect shells to highlight the wide variety of the latter that can be found. McDonald’s jewel-toned art has the look of watercolor and is appropriately watery and accessible. The final pages allow children to reflect on their favorite ocean animal as the art reviews all the creatures depicted.

A gentle underwater excursion. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-57877-2

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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With its companion, a vibrantly illustrated, expertly written offering for young animal lovers.

PETS

From the Hello World! series

Learn about domestic animals in the latest addition to McDonald’s Hello World! series.

Whether they are wild or domesticated, animals are fascinating creatures. In this cheery outing, McDonald introduces young readers to a variety of animals that live with humans, including rabbits, cats, frogs, and dogs. Companion title Arctic Animals, on the other hand, focuses on the wild and wonderful creatures that live in the world’s coldest, northernmost region, including polar bears, narwhals, snowy owls, and puffins. McDonald’s talent for curating relevant, fascinating, and child-friendly facts is fully on display in both of these volumes. Both books focus mostly on the physical characteristics of the animals and birds, pairing the descriptions with textured, collage-style illustrations that also enliven the type, particularly in cases of onomatopoeia. Arctic Animals simply and clearly introduces concepts like hibernation and camouflage while Pets provides a bit of specific information about how to care for the animals depicted. It also includes questions on each two-page spread that invite children to participate in the storytelling by moving their bodies like the pets they are reading about: Readers are asked to “twitch” their noses like rabbits, “stretch” like cats, and “hop” like frogs. Both books are excellent choices for budding naturalists, zookeepers, veterinarians, and pet owners.

With its companion, a vibrantly illustrated, expertly written offering for young animal lovers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64759-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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