THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

From the Play-Doh series

A favorite kids’ song with a Play-Doh twist.

This large-sized board book includes an easy-to-push blue button in the bottom right-hand corner of each page that, when depressed, plays the familiar, titular tune, encouraging kids to sing along. The words to one verse of the song are printed on each page spread: The wheels go ’round and ’round; the driver says, “Move on back”; the people bounce up and down; the baby wails, “Wah-wah-wah”; the horn beeps; the wipers swish; and finally, the wheels go ’round once more. The unusual illustrations depict figures made of Play-Doh against a digital outdoor backdrop. The requisite yellow bus is driven by a quirky-looking ostrich whose passengers are an assortment of animals, including a giraffe, a koala, a zebra, a mommy and baby bear, a monkey and more. The bus is shown rolling past office buildings, rows of houses and a playground as it makes its way through town. Unfortunately, the nature of the modeled figures means that the illustrations are extremely static; there’s no sense that these animals are going up and down at all, for instance. Companion volume Old MacDonald Had a Farm also features a recorded tune, one verse of the song per spread and plenty of cute clay critters. For Play-Doh lovers and little ones who can’t get enough of their favorite songs. (Board book. 2-4)  

 

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-160710-920-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween.

TEENY TINY GHOST

This board book twists the traditional “Teeny Tiny” tale into a less-scary Halloween treat.

This version uses a singsong-y rhythm and cadence to tell the story. “In the teeny tiny barn / Of a teeny tiny house... / Lived a teeny tiny ghost / and a teeny tiny mouse.” Of course the ghost (being teeny tiny) is not very frightening. “But the determined little ghost / Let her mighty courage through / And with a teeny tiny breath / She said a teeny tiny: boo.” Spoiler alert: After just seven page turns the ghost and mouse become friends: “And now the teeny tinies play / In the teeny tiny house. / Just a teeny tiny ghost / And her best friend, mouse.” Pumpkins decorate the cover and final spread and illustrations throughout are in autumnal hues. The fairly high-for-the-format word count—19 to 21 words per page—may be more than toddlers will sit still for, but the “teeny tiny” repetition and rhymes will help. The size (just 6 inches square) makes using the book with a group a challenge, but with a lap-sitting child, it’ll be a pleasure.

A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31848-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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