Another cute book of animal facts—but far from a must-have.

READ REVIEW

JUNGLE ANIMALS

From the Touch and Explore series

This board book is a tactile, factoid-filled visit with various jungle animals.

Mazas’ animal facts are paired with Roy’s clean and inviting illustrations. Some featured animals, such as the iguana, are given full two-page layouts with multiple illustrations and an up-close image while other pages include multiple animals and facts shared together. There is no apparent pattern to how the animals are featured or why some receive a more in-depth treatment. Despite this, young readers will get a kick out of the information included, especially the note about sloth toilet habits. Some of the up-close images incorporate both an inset texture to feel and labeled body parts. These are the most interesting illustrations in the book even though the tactile components don’t add much informational value. The boa constrictor works well with its touchable, bumpy scales. Overall, the book suffers from a lack of clear direction: Is it an organized, up-close look at jungle animals? A picture dictionary of assorted animals, as the last two pages featuring seven animals and a few textures suggest? A lift-the-flap book (there’s only one)? The muddiness means an unclear readership. The touch-and-feel aspect points to younger readers, but the content hits a little older. Overall, the book has high appeal for animal lovers who get a kick out of related details.

Another cute book of animal facts—but far from a must-have. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40801-284-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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