The warm tone and magical drawings make this ideal bedtime reading.

READ REVIEW

MORE THAN BALLOONS

Adult animals express their love for their children in rhyming couplets and swirling illustrations.

This variation on the “Guess how much I love you” theme succeeds more on artistic merit and sweet intentions than on poetic virtue, which is fine, as its intended audience is not literary critics. Over the course of 12 two-page tableaux, author Crozier presents a series of relentlessly rhymed “more than” metaphors describing how much caregivers reading the book aloud love the children to whom they read it. Many of the comparisons are creative and lovely: “more than a tuba loves a tune,” “more than a lake loves a loon,” and “more than a bee loves a bloom,” for example. Others, including, unfortunately, the titular example, “more than balloons love the moon,” may seem a stretch, despite, in this case, a charming illustration of balloons drifting through the starry, moonlit sky. The constancy of the rhyme scheme is remarkable; all but the last two lines of the book rhyme with “balloon” and “moon.” For young readers, that may make it easy to recite by memory, which could, in turn, help them begin matching the words of the book with the text on the page. The artwork, as noted, is exquisite: simple, yet elegant lines, delightful animal characters, warm washes of color, and plenty of details to build young vocabularies.

The warm tone and magical drawings make this ideal bedtime reading. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1028-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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