There’s not much information, but it’s fun for a bit.

NOISY ANIMAL SEARCH AND FIND

A busy board book of critters and creatures in five habitats.

Animals that live in five broadly defined and geographically unrestricted environments—forests, sun, cold, in the ocean, and in a pond—are labeled on five spreads. For example, “In the Forest” includes a deer, a panda, a monkey, a leopard, and a sloth—animals that inhabit very different woodlands and even continents. A two-line rhyme on the left invites readers to identify the dozen-plus cartoon animals in each category. Across the bottom of each spread, thumbnail drawings spotlight eight animals and include questions to encourage study of the larger picture. Two animals on each spread are equipped with sound-producing buttons. The owl and tiger on the front cover are also singled out with sound buttons, making a total of 12 embedded sounds. Because the sound buttons are always on the recto, even young children quickly learn to search there, with the result that the animals on the left may be ignored. Differentiating ocean creatures from pond dwellers makes sense, though the difference between salt- and freshwater habitats is not mentioned. The purpose here is simply to name the animals. Bright, busy backgrounds, small pictures, and the large number of animals shown per page make this best for one-on-one sharing.

There’s not much information, but it’s fun for a bit. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-685-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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