Overall, the book’s rhythmic prose, textured visuals, and diverse characters make it an excellent choice for emerging readers

READ REVIEW

WHERE IS BABY'S HOME?

At the end of the day, it’s time for the world’s babies to find their ways home.

As the pages turn in Katz’s (Vroom, Vroom, Trucks! 2016, etc.) latest lift-the-flap board book, the sky fades into darkness as smiling human babies discover where baby animals sleep at night. Each animal’s home and family is hidden behind a flap that folds convincingly into the colorful scenery. Many of the animals in the book—including birds, bunnies, squirrels, and ducks—can be found in readers’ backyards. Throughout the story, the sun progressively sets, leading to a final, double-gatefold spread of a diverse group of human babies snuggling with their caregivers in houses tucked beneath a starry, moonlit sky. Katz’s combination of clear, simple language and bold, patterned illustrations render this book enjoyable for young readers to both see and hear. Particularly laudable is Katz’s inclusion of racially diverse characters, including black and Asian babies and their parents, though there’s no obvious evidence of adoptive or multiracial families. The narrative cleverly intertwines developmentally appropriate subjects that young children particularly enjoy, including animals, babies, and bedtime rituals. Unfortunately, some of the flaps are difficult for small hands to manipulate.

Overall, the book’s rhythmic prose, textured visuals, and diverse characters make it an excellent choice for emerging readers . (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0088-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Superlative silliness.

MY DAD IS AMAZING

Extol the virtues of parents in this and its companion volume, My Mom is Magical.

Each of these winning board books is dedicated to the respective, titular parent of the author-and-illustrator team, sisters Sabrina and Eunice Moyle, who together are the design studio Hello!Lucky. The over-the-top enthusiasm of these volumes may, therefore, be reasonably excused, as the creative team’s love for their subjects seems as sincere as it is hyperbolic. A series of wild metaphors and analogies celebrate Dad or Mom; the near-blinding bright colors and kinetic, even chaotic illustrations perfectly complement the exuberant text. “My Dad is cooler than a million Popsicles!” “My Mom is cuddlier than a mountain yak!” A friendly, hipsterized yeti that looks like an extra from Where the Wild Things Are plays Dad, while Mom is rendered as a sparkly unicorn with rainbow mane and tail—who strikes heroic poses. Descriptive phrasing ranges from sweet to laugh-out-loud silly: Dad, for example, is “funnier than a bunch of underpants!” Funny indeed! Each volume ends by switching voices to break the fourth wall: “Kid, you’re amazing” (or “magical”) “too!” Both books are visual treats, sure to engage with their brilliant hues and inventive (if occasionally stereotypical) images. Dad is imagined at one point as a masked, lucha libre wrestler, for example, and Mom teaches a classroom of owlets mathematical formulae in glasses and an “I [heart] Math” T-shirt. Families may want both books, or either, as applicable.

Superlative silliness. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2961-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

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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