Purchase for children who need action while they read, but read along to ensure that they slow down to actually look at the...

READ REVIEW

THROUGH THE TOWN

From the Follow-the-Trail series

This board book and its simultaneously publishing companion, Around the World, start with an intriguing and potentially useful premise, providing pre-readers with an indented track to trace their ways through the pictures.

If the goal is to train these very young children to “read” from left to right, the gimmick is a failure: the line doesn’t usually follow the conventions of reading English, nor is the rhyming text always parallel to the tracking line. For example, on one double-page spread, the line moves down the page, back to the left, then across and up the opposite page, to end in front of a car facing left. On the other hand, if the goal is to provide an activity so wiggly children will be content to spend time looking at each page, it might work. More likely the young reader will focus on the track and forget to look at the detailed but rather small illustrations done in the muted shades of retro letterpress. There is actually much to study and talk about on each page— different kinds of cars, houses, and hidden owl characters, plus some images not expected in a book for toddlers. (Can you find the sewer rat or UFO?) The “follow-the-trail” interaction seems to be an unnecessary gimmick and distraction.

Purchase for children who need action while they read, but read along to ensure that they slow down to actually look at the pictures. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0076-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.

CRUNCH! MUNCH! BUNNY

Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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