Shopping for a pet? This busy board book introduces to toddlers the common characteristics of nine household pets.
A cat and a dog each occupy a double-page spread, with the verso page divided into four squares of illustrated information about the pet’s babies, diet, and toileting needs. A fourth square that explains the animals’ space needs includes a flap with further information hidden behind it. A bird also warrants a double-page spread, with the verso providing generic information and a canary used as a specific example on the recto page. A guinea pig, hamster, fish, turtle, mouse, and rabbit are each described on just one page with factual information in a relatively large font. Each animal’s depiction includes a tactile element with varying degrees of success. For example, the shiny scales of the fish are described, but, upending expectations, the fish pictured is not shiny, and the canary’s feathers look and feel more like fur. Safari (written by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Deneux, and published simultaneously) follows the same format to highlight animals of an African savanna: lion, baboon, elephant, zebra, crocodile, and giraffe. Both volumes end with a summary page that mentions additional, related animals. The tactile patches will be the primary draw for young children. Unfortunately, they probably won’t survive the rough touch of toddler fingers, and the bindings are far from sturdy.
Serviceable for as long as it lasts. (Board book. 1-3)