Not likely to be a longstanding favorite, but good for a brief bit of fun.

READ REVIEW

HIDE AND SEEK HARRY AROUND THE HOUSE

From the Hide and Seek Harry series

A quick game of hide-and-seek with an enthusiastic but easy-to-find hippo.

On the opening page, large, clear, black type reading “Harry is our best friend” appears beneath the image of a blonde-headed boy and a pig-tailed girl sitting astride a big gray hippo. We learn that Harry the hippo’s favorite game is hide-and-seek, but that he’s not very good at it. The subsequent illustrations make the point, depicting Harry attempting to conceal his bulk in a variety of easy-to-spot locations. For instance, he is shown sinking into a big tub of bubbles, cramming himself into the kitchen cabinets, snuggled in bed underneath the covers and crouched behind the doghouse. Luckily, the only thing Harry seems to like as much as hiding is being discovered by his friends, who embrace him in the final spread. Toddlers will enjoy outwitting Harry by quickly finding him in the bright, cheerful illustrations, and they will appreciate the culminating expression of friendship and affection. In Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach, the hippo takes his antics to the shore, futilely hiding, among other places, in the sand dunes, in a hammock and, most absurdly, behind a skinny palm tree.

Not likely to be a longstanding favorite, but good for a brief bit of fun. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6602-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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