The cutesy and busy illustrations, confusing text, and sometimes-delicate tabs keep this from delivering everything it...



If lifting flaps is the goal, the 52 contained in this board book deliver.

A winking red “SPED-X!” truck on the cover promises intriguing treats on the die-cut pages within. On the first spread flaps on a fleet of four trucks reveal the tools of the trade: boxes, packing materials, a dolly, a pallet. Successive pages highlight specific types of cargo. Unfortunately, essential information is sacrificed in favor of rhyming text. For example, “A truck full of rides is the BEST ONE YET!” is identified as a carnival truck only by its clown face. But it does rhyme with the next, equally confusing, line: “But nothing beats the lovable truck that delivers your new PET!” This may have children wondering where the pet-delivery trucks in their neighborhood are. Similarly, a truck described as smelling “sweet” is delivering flowers, not the ice cream most children would assume. A double-page spread of a vehicle carrier is the most intriguing, though the double-cut tabs will quickly tear, and the vehicles revealed offer an odd mix of vocabulary. (What looks like a military jeep is identified as a “clunker”; other tabs hide a “hybrid car” with dangling plug, a personal “watercraft,” and an “ATV.”) Caregivers should heed the back cover’s caution: “HANDLE WITH CARE.”

The cutesy and busy illustrations, confusing text, and sometimes-delicate tabs keep this from delivering everything it promises. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9219-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Serviceable, reasonably toddler-friendly fare.


Denizens of the deep in diminutive 3-D displays.

Arranged in a seemingly arbitrary sequence, the 15 figures popping up, one per spread, in this small, square volume include some dolllike humans or human artifacts but are mostly very simply rendered sea animals sporting smiles and big eyes. All feature one- or two-word identifiers and hover above monochrome backgrounds enhanced, sometimes, with a simple nautical detail. The pop-ups, constructed largely from reverse folds, are designed as static compositions aside from a crab that waves its claws at viewers as the spread opens. Other than a similar but not identical boat and a subway train, the equally simple vehicles in the co-published Pop-Up Things That Go! roll on or fly over dry land. In both books, human figures are all white except for one of three firefighters and a child collecting a cone from the “ice cream van” in Things That Go! (which also places the driver of its bus on the British side).

Serviceable, reasonably toddler-friendly fare. (Pop-up picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0119-2

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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More game than substance.


From the Matching Game series

A large-format board book with sliding, matching-game–style panels featuring things that move on land, sea, and by air.

This one is fodder for young readers who love everything on wheels. As in Babin’s Animals, illustrated by Julie Mercier (2018), this book includes a series of panels that allow for a matching game, wherein four sets of matching pairs are hidden behind sliding windows. The left-hand side of each double-page spread shows brightly-colored cartoon animals riding in or on the vehicles while the game is presented on the right-hand side. Each transportation set includes directives for ways to engage with the book (“Can you name and find all the vehicles that are yellow, red, or green?”), but they vary little from page to page and mostly follow the same predictable format. The “In the Sky” page features some unusual modes of transportation such as a hydroplane and paraglider, likely unfamiliar to younger readers (and not included in the matching game). The book provides opportunities to point to and name items, similar to a picture dictionary. It’s really less book and more game, which, while entertaining, does become repetitive for adults. It’s a good choice for travel and even for keeping little hands busy at a restaurant, because it is really something to play with rather than something to read.

More game than substance. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40801-283-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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