Reader engagement saves this from complete unoriginality.

THE FARMER

Learn about farm animals and the farmer’s work in this lift-the-flap board book from Belgium and the Netherlands.

This toddler-friendly tale is part picture identification and part prediction. Each double-page spread shows four simply drawn animals or items on the left while the right side poses a question beneath a picture and invites readers to lift the flap on which both are printed. This setup clearly displays the featured items, and the questions invite little readers to practice making predictions about what will happen next. Sometimes there is an obvious answer to the question, as in which animal gets which type of food; other times, the question elicits a yes or no answer. In this way, Slegers keeps the experience of each page predictable without being repetitive. Some questions are confusing: Yes, the farmer appears to be watering the cauliflower, lettuce, and carrots he’s walking past with a watering can, but the answer is he’s not—“he’s watering the tomatoes in the greenhouse.” Others fail to purposefully include all the items depicted on verso, so that something like the pitchfork becomes simply unused background. The illustrations have thick, black outlines, with simple, bold colors and features. There isn’t much detail save the realistic texture of the farmer’s work clothes and the close-up photographed image of straw used in place of drawing on the bales of hay. The farmer presents White and is explicitly gendered male, and there are no other humans in the book.

Reader engagement saves this from complete unoriginality. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-60537-586-1

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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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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