Nothing flashy or overly ambitious, this small board book starring an odd-looking little monster is a quirky way to...

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A DAY WITH MONSTER

See what Monster’s day is like, from his morning stretch till he returns to his bed at the end of a long day.

Fuzzy and gray, with blue eyebrows and two sharp teeth (one upper, one lower), Monster is a hand-felted creation by fiber artist Gleiner. To create the illustrations, she poses and arranges Monster along with props made of fiber and other materials and then photographs the tableaux. The process results in 3-D images with a whimsical feel. The intentionally simple storyline follows Monster through the course of a typical day. He eats breakfast, goes to work, eats lunch, takes a nap and walks his dog. In the evening, he eats dinner (a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that, upon closer inspection, appear to be orange yarn and red pom-poms), plays his guitar, takes a bath, brushes his teeth (all two of them) and reads a bit before bed. Monster’s day features many ordinary actions that children either accomplish themselves or see their parents perform. Sharp-eyed children will be intrigued to see that the upper tooth migrates back and forth from one side of Monster’s mouth to the other as the day progresses.

Nothing flashy or overly ambitious, this small board book starring an odd-looking little monster is a quirky way to introduce little ones to the concept of a daily routine and its constituent parts. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-26-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 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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MY PUMPKIN

A trio of monsters enjoy Halloween festivities in this pumpkin-shaped board-book offering.

A fuzzy blue critter with horns, accompanied by a purple dinosaurlike creature and yellow beastie with pigtails, selects a pumpkin from a patch, carves it and takes it to a jack-o’-lantern contest. The rhyming text, with one line per page, is forced and doesn’t scan: “Pumpkin, pumpkin, big and steady, / Costumes and carving, time to get ready!” While the three central characters are appropriately toddler-friendly, monsters dressing up for Halloween is a bit of a conceptual stretch. The shiny orange foil cover and the bright orange pumpkins within are eye-catching, but the rest of the palette—pale blues, greens, grays and browns—causes some of the characters to fade into the scenery in Marts’ quirky cartoons. This slight slice of pumpkin pie will tempt few little trick-or-treaters. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

 

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-49332-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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