As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one.



From the Pete the Cat series

Dean’s heavy-lidded blue cat loves a lot of things.

In fact, Pete “loves EVERYTHING”: playing on the swing set and the slide, “riding his skateboard,” making a sand castle at the beach, “learning new things” at school, “playing guitar and singing songs,” reading “all kinds of books,” and eating sweets. (Nothing even remotely healthful is featured on his list of favorite foods.) He loves his friends and his family, and they love him too. Pete is more a phenomenon than a character, the couldn’t-care-less expression he permanently wears crucial to his brand appeal. Those people who love Pete will probably love this book, but the babies they share it with will be puzzled. No matter how much the text tells them Pete loves this or that, he looks bored in every endeavor except for singing, when his pink tongue sticking out gives him the semblance of a smile. While several of the other cat characters are similarly expressionless, enough have upturned kitty mouths to thoroughly confuse readers who have associated the smiling faces of their caregivers with love from their earliest days.

As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-243581-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A happily multisensory exploration.


From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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