There’s lots of detail, but it’s poorly organized.



This oversized lift-the-flap board book is reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s classic titles.

Four lines of rhyming text highlight the function of the equipment seen on each spread. Unfortunately, the rhyme is sometimes forced; “trees” does not rhyme with “debris,” unless “debris” is mispronounced. A concluding couplet—“What is hiding? Take a peek. / Lift the flaps for hide-and-seek!”—repeated on each spread directs readers to eight flaps hidden on each spread. Their small cutouts are almost too small for tiny fingers. Oddly, it is only after opening the flap and revealing the hidden object that readers are asked, “Can you find the _____?” These tiny objects have no relation to either their hiding places or construction. A piece of cake lurks beneath a wheelbarrow; a dump truck hides a pencil. The lack of contextual clues makes this book one to share with somewhat older readers, who may learn some new vocabulary but probably won’t be much challenged. Still, there is much to see and talk about. (Don’t miss the construction worker anxiously waiting to use the port-a-potty. That might have been a flap worth opening.) Animal workers of many species labor on this construction site. One is referred to as “she,” the only pronoun used in the book; two of the three adult caregivers depicted in a final spread wear dresses.

There’s lots of detail, but it’s poorly organized. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68437-650-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Highlights Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.


From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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