FROG & FRIENDS

From the What Am I? series

This appealing offering presents a series of clues to a riddle with the answer revealed on a final, fold-out page.

The unnamed, first-person narrator describes, in one simple sentence per spread, an enjoyable day with friends, which include ducks, a beaver, frogs, turtles, snails, dragonflies and fireflies. The final page asks, “What am I?” and a vertical fold-out reveals an answer that no one will likely guess: a pond. The simple text is appropriately large and bold, and the delightful illustrations feature thick lines, chunky, smiling critters, and a vibrant, natural color scheme. Despite the potential confusion engendered by the title—which suggests that the first-person narrator is a frog—the riddle concept works well, and the answer, which readers of any age will be unlikely to guess, rightly encourages them to perceive the pond as not simply a backdrop, but an integral part of a thriving ecosystem. In a companion title, Owl and Friends, a tree tells readers about all the happy times it shares with forest animals as readers try to guess its identity. An engaging riddle book with standout illustrations, especially the final foldout, which is filled with merry creatures being regarded by a cheerful sun and a content, pigtailed little girl. (Board book. 1-4)

 

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8431-7277-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Price Stern Sloan

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

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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