A pleasant introduction to basic story structure.


From the Go with Maisy series

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. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Clever paper engineering adds an extra bit of magic to this firehouse visit.


From the Pop Magic series

Tour and toy in one, a compact introduction to firefighting gear that then unfolds completely and refolds into a ladder truck.

Some assembly—of the “match up the two-dot tab with the two-dot slot” sort—is required to work the transformation, but there are written instructions, a picture of the finished product on the slipcase, and even an online video to assist the manually clueless. While the toy is still a book, the diverse cast of cartoon firefighters, plus resident cat and Dalmatian, invites diapered digerati to view protective gear, hoses, and other equipment stowed on the truck beneath flaps and flip other flaps to “dress [one] in protective clothes,” draping layers over a green undershirt and trading in bunny slippers for boots. Pulling one tab lifts a ladder, and another waves a hose over a small pile of burning leaves (“Some fires are big, and some are quite small. / For this one we don’t need much water at all!”). Much of the gear is unlabeled, which provides opportunity for “do you know what that’s called?” interactions to go with reading the rhymed text. It’s all printed on stock heavy enough to survive repeated foldings and refoldings (though some of the individual flaps may not last that long), and the slipcase is sturdy as well.

Clever paper engineering adds an extra bit of magic to this firehouse visit. (Novelty. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4107-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet