Maisy fans are unlikely to give a hoot for this sugary and clumsily designed alternative.



Sophie la girafe’s day gets off to a quiet start—but it definitely doesn’t stay that way.

Showing signs of its French origins in the croissant on Sophie’s breakfast table and views of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the episode takes the stuffed giraffe and her plush, toy animal friends on a picnic outing that is punctuated by sudden noises. Each of the five tinny sonic kerfuffles—which range from a chugging train and a chorus of quacky ducks to a snatch of Euro-pop dance music from a portable radio—is set off by lifting a flap and runs without interruption (or the ability to turn it off) for several seconds. In keeping with the thoroughly bland cartoon illustrations, Sophie’s reaction to the noise is not irritation but a smile: “Today wasn’t quiet and peaceful after all,” she concludes. “It was noisy and fun!” Whether or not readers have the same reaction, the flaps’ hinges loosen with use, so that after several readings, just opening each spread causes the sounds to erupt. Moreover, the electronics are housed in a rear cover/box that is thicker than the entire story’s five spreads, and they require no fewer than three batteries to function. Replacing the latter is possible, though will likely never be necessary.

Maisy fans are unlikely to give a hoot for this sugary and clumsily designed alternative. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4654-3803-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A happily multisensory exploration.


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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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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