These multiple, small accessories make it inappropriate for the typical board-book audience or for library circulation, but...

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MOUSTACHE UP!

A PLAYFUL GAME OF OPPOSITES

Youngsters can mix and match detachable mustaches onto simple black-and-white face icons.

A large pocket holds three paperboard sheets of 12 mustaches in total, which can be detached from the perforated pages. Mustaches of opposite qualities are paired on each page spread: “Moustache UP and moustache DOWN. / Which ’stache covers up a frown?” The left-hand side of each spread has die-cut notches where the tabs protruding from the top of each moustache can be inserted over an illustration of said moustache. Included on this side of the spread is a subtly comic, knowingly retro cartoon of a man sporting one of the mustaches. The right-hand page holds a full-page cartoon face with one notch so the mustache of choice can be inserted. The verse and art seem to point to a correct mustache for each face, but youngsters will likely enjoy experimenting with various facial-hair arrangements. Some of the interchangeable mustaches, the backs of which sport a descriptive word (straight, curly, smooth, rough, etc.) to help with matching, are sturdier than others, and a couple of the thinner ones will be easily torn and the smaller ones easily lost.

These multiple, small accessories make it inappropriate for the typical board-book audience or for library circulation, but this offering will likely appeal to readers who appreciate a quirky and stylized design aesthetic and books with interactive features. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7526-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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