Whether would-be musicians or not, children will find a lot to like in little Wendell.

WENDELL THE NARWHAL

Teamwork helps a narwhal to participate in an underwater orchestra.

All the other creatures of the sea can make music, but Wendell can’t seem to create the right resonance with his tusk. He is a bit jealous that the octopus can make a “pop, pop, pop” sound, the jellyfish go “wubba, wub, wub,” the blowfish can “whoosh,” the whale sings “tweedly dee,” and the clam claps. When they all get going, the din is discordant and noisy, prompting Wendell to tap his tusk to get everyone to be quiet. The jellyfish then suggest that Wendell be the conductor to their little orchestra, and all together they make a harmonious melody. Contained in a charmingly diminutive trim, the muted paintings of the various ocean dwellers stand out against an oceanic green background. A cacophony of sound words across each page depicts the transition from a loud clatter to a mellow tune. Even children who can’t read the words will see how they threaten to overwhelm the narwhal before he coordinates them all. Preschoolers will enjoy repeating all the sounds as this aquatic symphony takes shape while they discover the names of some relatively unfamiliar sea creatures.

Whether would-be musicians or not, children will find a lot to like in little Wendell. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927018-66-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Simply Read

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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