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Both too complicated for board-book readers and too limited for older readers, this adaptation does not live up to its...

This busy board book is full of facts and flaps to open.

In this informational board book that collects snippets from the Did You Know? series for preschoolers, the 11 featured animals are all over the map, from the common (chicken and rabbit) to more exotic (elephants, hippos, zebras, and kangaroos). Some, such as sharks and jellyfish, live in water. Salamanders represent amphibians, and ants and bees round out the critters included. Each two-page spread includes wordy text, often in the form of questions, about each animal’s particular characteristics. Many of the concepts (such as size, weight, size of litter, number of teeth) and much of the vocabulary (such as “dense” or “colonies”) is too advanced for the board-book audience—unsurprising given the book’s provenance. Most of the spreads include two or three flaps. The pages about rabbits and ants have five flaps each, while the elephant, zebra, and jellyfish each warrant only one large flap, so children may find themselves scraping vainly at several unyielding spots. The cartoon illustrations have the look of toys designed to highlight stereotypical features of each animal.

Both too complicated for board-book readers and too limited for older readers, this adaptation does not live up to its title; a more accurate one would be Too Much About a Few Animals. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1135-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A serviceable exploration of the animal kingdom.

Little ones learn about sea life.

Animals found under the sea are the focus of this board book. An abcb rhyme scheme is employed to tell little readers about sea turtles, great white sharks (which smile benevolently if toothily), seals, blue whales, and sea horses. Each animal is discussed in two double-page spreads that offer basic facts: sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches; great whites are white only on their bellies; blue whales eat “tiny creatures.” Some facts are impenetrable and even inaccurate: of the seal, the text claims a “deep-sea diving suit of blubber keeps this swimmer dry”; the blue whale is as “big as any jumbo jet.” The illustrations feature smiling animals colored with deep hues that evoke the depths of their environment. The final page of the board book boasts further facts about each creature featured. Similar titles Forest Folk and Sky Guys are concurrently published, introducing little readers to forest critters and winged beasts respectively, using the same abcb format and design. While the graphics in each are appealing, the texts leave much to be desired.

A serviceable exploration of the animal kingdom. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-908985-86-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Button Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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From the What Can You See? series

At its essence, this is a nice-looking book of assorted animal factoids.

This colorful, fact-filled board book about animals is distinguished by die-cut pages.

This one is all about the animals, each page revealing a slightly different habitat, brightly colored animals, and brand new facts. The factoids range from the familiar (“Owls sleep in the day and come out at night”) to the lesser known (“A rhinoceros’s horn never stops growing!”). Disappointingly, it’s not stated specifically where these animals live, just that they live in “the wild.” This seems like it could be anywhere from the Amazon rainforest to the African savanna, and the trip through the book ends up feeling a lot like a visit to the zoo. Some of the included animals remain unidentified. Each spread features a seek-and-find prompt for extra engagement: “Where are the yellow bananas?” There are a few tourists who appear, two White children and a family with brown skin. They are shown pointing and observing. Each page is busy but not to the point of overwhelming. The cutouts add a lot of visual interest and sometimes enable something from the previous page to remain in the scene even after the page turn. All of the animals are drawn with expressive eyes and faces, kid-friendly though not realistic.

At its essence, this is a nice-looking book of assorted animal factoids. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-649-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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