RAIN DANCE

A collection of farmyard creatures cavorts among the raindrops in this latest release in the Harper Growing Tree series. A simply wrought rhyme introduces the numbers one through ten as everything from a pair of skittering spiders to several scurrying ducklings scatter with the onslaught of rain. Written for the smallest toddler, Appelt’s verses are appropriately brief without sacrificing any of the tale’s fun. The playful, rhyming word-pairs highlight a bevy of familiar critters to pique the interest of young readers. Each new number has a two-page spread devoted to it, featuring the numeral in oversized print in the upper left-hand corner and a pair of words describing the creatures’ activities—“5 Piggies squish.” Chollat’s accompanying illustrations capture a child’s delight in all things splashy. The full-bleed, boldly colored paintings depict a motley assortment of critters gleefully scampering hither and yon. Delightfully silly drawings of the animals, from the Cheshire-cat grins on the frolicking felines to the herd of dancing ponies, are ideal for a preschool audience. Also, the uncluttered backgrounds and the large-sized figures make counting opportunities a bit easier for novices. Puddle-loving tots are bound to revel in all this squashy fun and learn a little something, too. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 31, 2001

ISBN: 0-694-01291-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2001

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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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Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.”

YOUR NOSE!

From the Boynton on Board series

A sing-along assurance that this little fox is totally special.

Originally included on Blue Moo, Boynton’s 2007 album of children’s music, this board-book version hits all the right notes. The fact that it lampoons Neal Sedaka’s “Angel Eyes” will no doubt go right over the heads of young children—and possibly even their parents—but they can hear Sedaka himself singing this version via a link on the publisher’s website (noted on the copyright page). That version is slightly longer than the board-book text, but nevertheless, children and adults will happily sing along. Several animals rendered in Boynton’s distinctive style make appearances. Nose-to-nose pairs of rhinos, bears, ducks, pigs, and bunnies accompany the species-inclusive line “everyone can find a way to happiness, I suppose.” But a doting fox and its kit are the book’s main characters. Their expressive eyes make their mutual delight clear, and their noses are very much in evidence. The refrain—“YOUR NOSE!”—is set in a larger font, helping even young children start to recognize the words. This unabashed celebration of this little fox’s uniqueness and the grown-up fox’s unconditional admiration is completely sincere and sure to be appreciated by toddlers.

Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.” (Board book (1-4)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-1021-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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