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From the Go with Maisy series

A pleasant introduction to basic story structure.

Maisy and her pals create a pond.

Maisy uses her digger to dig a big hole in her backyard. After Eddie the elephant fills the hole with water and Maisy's other friends put their own finishing touches on the pond, everyone gathers and celebrates. This board book's emphasis is on cooperation and early narrative-comprehension skills. The clear chain of events simply illustrated by childlike lines and Crayola colors makes for a thunderously simple book, but that is entirely appropriate for its audience. Another Maisy board book, the simultaneously publishing Maisy's Race Car, uses similar illustrations and narrative tactics to get little readers used to the traditional story arc of beginning, middle, and end. Fans of Maisy's world will surely appreciate these two further adventures, and newcomers will find this a sweet introduction to the characters. These are very basic board books, but they both accomplish their goals.

A pleasant introduction to basic story structure. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8010-7

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A very cute but not so simple offering for tots.

Reich’s hamsters return (Up Hamster, Down Hamster, 2015, etc.).

The hamsters are back, but they’re not sitting still—they’re traveling to and fro in a wide variety of vehicles. The little critters use a train, a golf cart, even a moon rover to get around. The lovable hamsters are always smiling and having a good time, providing a basic but pleasurable board book for little readers. The coloring has a subdued palette that works well with the calm and straightforward text. “Hamsters in a golf cart / Hamsters in a sleigh // Hamsters drifting lazily / In a hamster way.” The book doesn’t boast a particularly involving or eye-catching style, but little readers with a penchant for small, furry mammals will surely be satisfied. The highlight for adult readers is the absurd vehicles these hamsters operate, including inner tubes, hot air balloons, and a pudgy yellow submarine. The relative busyness of the double-page spreads, which often relate to each other in no way at all (three hamsters in leotards balance on a unicycle on verso, while three different hamsters soar in a paper plane on recto, for instance), will challenge young readers developing a sense of narrative flow.

A very cute but not so simple offering for tots. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1016-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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The monotony of the text and the needlessly exhaustive nature of the examples make this one just OK.

As the title suggests, this board book shows people “buckling up” in all different types of vehicles and scenarios.

This book has a simple, straightforward setup: show people (and one dog) putting on seat belts in as many ways possible. The goal of the book appears to be convincing children that everyone does it—even astronauts—and they should, too. Zimmerman’s rhyming couplets have a nice rhythm, and each is followed by the same refrain: “One, two, three, CLICK!” The characters are diverse, although a preponderance presents white. The thin-lined, colorful backgrounds include details that younger preschoolers will enjoy finding, but they may prove hard for toddlers to decode. While the text makes unnecessary use of the gendered term “mailman,” Zimmerman does challenge some gender stereotypes: the farmer is a woman, as are the pilot and the fire chief. What makes the firetruck pages problematic, however, are the two unbuckled, unrestrained firefighters hanging off the back of the truck, a once-common practice that’s been long discontinued as unsafe—odd, given the book’s attention to safety while riding. All of the examples of safety restraints are nice enough, there’s just far too many. The book is at its best when showing less-obvious examples of buckling up, such as the life-jacketed dog.

The monotony of the text and the needlessly exhaustive nature of the examples make this one just OK. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3868-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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