This appealing under-the-sea number book will hook toddlers and their parents.



From the Little Fish series

Practice counting to 10 with a variety of friendly fishies.

Cousins employees her usual palette of rich, bold colors, with fuchsia, scarlet, tangerine, and turquoise fish popping against beachy blue backgrounds. Her gouache paintings are thickly bordered in a rough black line that matches the dark hand-lettered text. A decorated number sits prominently on the left page, and the equivalent amount of fish swim on the right. The spreads are further connected by corresponding patterns, such as an orange-and-gold crisscrossed “4” to match four goldfish on the opposing page or a speckled rainbow “9” that mimics the “Nine funny fish.” Transparent spot gloss over the numbers and sea creatures adds to both the aquatic feel and the overall cheery vibe. With visually distinct species for each number, from spiky lionfish to smiling sharks, counting the sets is generally easy, although “Eight shy fish” are difficult to identify amid the seaweed. Short, peppy rhymes brimming with alliteration (“Five fat fish. / Splish splosh, splash!”) keep things appropriately bubbly, and while the ending (“Hooray! How many fish have you found?” with a variety of fish floating about) isn’t especially inspired, it does the job. A sparkly fish on the cover is superfluous but will likely tempt readers familiar with Rainbow Fish.

This appealing under-the-sea number book will hook toddlers and their parents. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0024-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.


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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