Toddlers are better served by a chorus of the original, accompanied by the finger motions



From the Itsy Bitsy series

Yet another remake of the classic fingerplay.

Burton and Rescek need to find a new song to parody or, better yet, come up with something original. As in earlier remakes—The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim, The Istsy Bitsy Bunny, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer (all 2016), and The Itsy Bitsy Snowman (2015)—the words are meant to be sung to the tune of the favorite nursery rhyme. In this outing, the rhymes work, but the meter is clunky. Rescek’s characters are cheery enough as they celebrate the transition from winter to spring. The question is why ducklings should replace spiders. “Down came the rain and chased the snow away” is simply not as satisfying as “washed the spider out.” The elements of danger, pluck, and mastery inherent in the original song are missing, as are the actions. A scene of anthropomorphic animals of different species sharing a den confuses rather than enlightens. There is no clear change from winter to spring; the color palette throughout is bright and springlike, and the duckling is about as realistic as an Easter Peep. Sturdy board pages may stand up to lots of handling, but young children are unlikely to ask for it more than once.

Toddlers are better served by a chorus of the original, accompanied by the finger motions . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8655-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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