Not enough pop for the price.

READ REVIEW

FUN ON THE FARM

From the Peekaboo Pop-Up Fun series

Six pop-up spreads display the over-the-top antics of a bunch of anthropomorphic barnyard animals.

A shades-wearing rooster in a roadster poses for the paparazzi. Three pigs relax with Pampered Pigs Weekly in a hot tub. In a scene reminiscent of the folk-song hero Bill Grogan, a flock of goats “munch” clothes right off a clothesline. A fashionista lamb models purple fleece with matching accessories. Two horses tango on ice skates, and singing cows suggest that readers “warble or hum, / bang a cymbal or drum” while sheep and ducks dance along. These improbable talents are announced in four-line rhyming stanzas. The silliness may amuse adults who are bored with the usual farm-animal fare, but the jokes will go right over the heads of toddlers. A simultaneously publishing second title in the Peekaboo Pop-Up Fun series is more focused. In Snuggle Tight, Kiss Good Night, by Danielle McLean and illustrated by Denise Hughes, seven (single) animal parents prepare their babies for bed with gentle, age-appropriate rhyming couplets. The animal pairs really do pop against muted nighttime nature scenes. The most intriguing features of both books are the pop-out portions that highlight the main character of each verse. However, the pop-outs go flat if the book is opened wide, and little fingers may quickly grab and tear the pop-out portions.

Not enough pop for the price. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-602-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH

From the My Little World series

A mix of marine-life fact and fiction introduces opposites.

With its iconic shape, the eye-catching cover cutout of a bright-orange fish is instantly appealing. Layered die cuts of decreasing size provide texture and handholds for little fingers and form the bodies of varying species of fish. Information about fish habits and habitats is crammed into wordy rhymes with the opposing terms in boldface, but the accuracy of those facts is debatable. Though it’s fair to call the eel “long and very wiggly,” contrasting it with a generic, short yellow fish that’s a rhyme-forced “giggly” introduces a jarring anthropomorphism. In fact, stereotypical human emotions or motivations are attributed to the fish on almost every page. On another page, the slow fish (the only fish not painted with a smile) says, “Even with a big head start, I knew I'd finish last”—a distressingly defeatist message in an otherwise cheery board book. Inexplicably, the final spread depicts all the fish in party hats—turning it into a birthday book. While this may extend its use in day cares, it doesn't help young children learn opposites.

A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-215-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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