An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way.

EEK!

A NOISY JOURNEY FROM A TO Z

Animals run amok from A to Z in this noisy alphabet book.

A mouse in tweed trousers plucks a flower and carries it away. But allergies kick in, and the mouse’s “achoo” scares away the bee that had been resting between the flower’s petals. As the bee flies off with a “bzzz,” a red bird gives out a “chirp,” and a nearby cat’s bell goes “ding-a-ling.” Just when the mouse turns to look, the cat’s paw reaches over the gutter: “Eeek!” Lucky for the mouse, a black dog take hold of the cat’s tail first. The cat flips over with a shocking “fwump.” The dog lets out a playful “grrr,” clearly aiming for some fun. The mouse’s story—and sounds associated with the rest of the alphabet—continues as more animal characters enter the action. But where is the mouse going? Will they ever make it there? Using only 26 onomatopoeic sounds and picture cues, this clever take on the alphabet book lets readers fill in the story on their own. Though hints on the recto pages signal what might happen next, each double-page spread contains a surprise—including the constantly changing background colors. Paschkis’ folk-art–inspired illustrations, filled with movement, pattern, and color, practically leap off the page. The endpapers depict each of the letters in no particular order, with enough space between them that readers can practice letter knowledge.

An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-169-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more