When there are so many titles available that provide counting practice without sacrificing engaging text and illustrations,...

READ REVIEW

FIVE LITTLE SNOWMEN

An interactive counting book featuring five playful snowmen.

A long rectangular shape is cut through the book so that readers can see and manipulate, from every double-page spread, five numbered snowmen who slide from one side of the row to the other for counting practice. Text in a fairly small font offers a perfunctory story about a robin helping a snowman to find a friend, after which three more snowmen join them in winter play. Boldface text beneath the rectangular window lets children know when they should move another snowman from left to right as they count to five; they can then move them all back to the left again to start the game anew. The serviceable story and illustrations both seem to have been crafted in support of the “slide and count” element of the text. Unfortunately, this idea falls flat in execution because when the book is tilted in any direction, the snowmen slide back and forth willy-nilly, disrupting the counting process. Companion title Five Christmas Reindeer is very similar, inviting children to count the reindeer as they prepare to help Santa deliver presents.

When there are so many titles available that provide counting practice without sacrificing engaging text and illustrations, this simply doesn’t make the cut. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0170-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

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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Clean design and invitations to action will help young builders become readers—expect to find this book in the sand box or...

NOISY NOISY DIGGER

From the My Little World series

This busy board book introduces five colors, five construction vehicles, and five physical movements.

Each spread begins with the same two couplets: “Noisy Yellow Digger meets someone new. / ‘What is your name and what do you do?’ ” An orange crane, green steamroller, blue dump truck, and red bulldozer each reply, “I’ll show you what I do....” Behind a full-page flap, each truck uses simple, first-person language to explain its basic function in relation to the yellow digger. On the opposite side of the now-open flap cheerful construction-worker bears invite child readers to mimic each vehicle’s action. Opening the flap also produces a truck sound that plays briefly. (The book’s speaker is in the rear cover, so readers may need to take care not to muffle it.) A radio appears with all the vehicles on the final spread, and the flap opens to reveal the bears dancing. The sounds seem almost incidental; the book’s strengths are clear, consistent illustrations and repetitive language. For example, the scene changes with each page, but the digger is always the same, and details (a bee, butterfly, or cloud) shown on the closed page can be found in the same place when the flap is opened. Small print on the back cover cautions that the sounds are light-activated, which makes this a poor choice for bedtime.

Clean design and invitations to action will help young builders become readers—expect to find this book in the sand box or on the road rug. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5892-5242-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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