While this will be a wildly appealing baby-shower gift, it’s as a color concept book that the pieces really come together.

READ REVIEW

FROM FATHER TO FATHER

Stylish matryoshka nesting dolls describe the concept of generations.

It’s a lovely conceit. Nesting dolls fit together much as an intergenerational family does. “My father’s father’s father’s father’s dad saw the birth of… / my father’s great-great-grandfather,” and the text continues to follow the lineage to the parent addressing his “very own child.” Companion title From Mother to Mother focuses on matrilineal heritage. Set on a tall, narrow trim, successive nesting dolls become smaller as the book progresses, until it reaches the last page’s diminutive child figurine. Black-outlined bodies on clean white backgrounds are accented by a single vivid color. Patterns on the figures are intricate, with crisply lined flora and fauna twisting around each other to create symmetrical, balanced compositions. The blue father doll features elegant, solid-colored lilies, blueberries, and a dragonfly, each with the barest amount of detailing. Sections of colored text match the accent color from the previous page, creating a further tie across generations. It’s all pleasingly harmonious. But as a read-aloud, it founders with its many recitations of family history, and it’s unlikely the intended audience will grasp such an abstract concept. It isn’t clear from the identical faces that these are descendants, and only a tiny missing moustache demarcates the ultimate child.

While this will be a wildly appealing baby-shower gift, it’s as a color concept book that the pieces really come together. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-814-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Superlative silliness.

MY DAD IS AMAZING

Extol the virtues of parents in this and its companion volume, My Mom is Magical.

Each of these winning board books is dedicated to the respective, titular parent of the author-and-illustrator team, sisters Sabrina and Eunice Moyle, who together are the design studio Hello!Lucky. The over-the-top enthusiasm of these volumes may, therefore, be reasonably excused, as the creative team’s love for their subjects seems as sincere as it is hyperbolic. A series of wild metaphors and analogies celebrate Dad or Mom; the near-blinding bright colors and kinetic, even chaotic illustrations perfectly complement the exuberant text. “My Dad is cooler than a million Popsicles!” “My Mom is cuddlier than a mountain yak!” A friendly, hipsterized yeti that looks like an extra from Where the Wild Things Are plays Dad, while Mom is rendered as a sparkly unicorn with rainbow mane and tail—who strikes heroic poses. Descriptive phrasing ranges from sweet to laugh-out-loud silly: Dad, for example, is “funnier than a bunch of underpants!” Funny indeed! Each volume ends by switching voices to break the fourth wall: “Kid, you’re amazing” (or “magical”) “too!” Both books are visual treats, sure to engage with their brilliant hues and inventive (if occasionally stereotypical) images. Dad is imagined at one point as a masked, lucha libre wrestler, for example, and Mom teaches a classroom of owlets mathematical formulae in glasses and an “I [heart] Math” T-shirt. Families may want both books, or either, as applicable.

Superlative silliness. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2961-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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