This book will likely become a game of starting and stopping the musical clips, and for good reason: There’s not much else...


From the My First Sound series

A musical board book features sound buttons that trigger clips of six classical songs.

The focus of this book is on listening to snippets (roughly 15 to 20 seconds long) from mostly well-known classical compositions. Each spread features one song and an accompanying illustration. The composer’s name and song title headline the text above a smaller line of interpretive text. The pages invite readers to interact by touching a button that activates the song. Some clips may be familiar even to younger readers, such as Mozart’s “The Turkish March,” while others, such as Paganini’s “The Campanella,” are likely to be new, for an overall nice balance. The illustrations—featuring animals and insects—are simple and relate to the song title, so Schubert’s “The Trout Quintet” depicts a trout jumping out of the water. Some of the directive text is inviting, asking readers to count ants, for example; elsewhere it’s simply descriptive. Neither the illustrations nor the text has enough depth or quality to bring much value to the book. Of note for adults: The book comes with an installed battery and an on-off switch, and the music can be started and stopped by touching the button on each page.

This book will likely become a game of starting and stopping the musical clips, and for good reason: There’s not much else to it. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-26721-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A playful excursion for young mariners.


From the In Motion series

A cavalcade of boats both realistic and whimsical.

“Old boats. New boats. / One-or-two boats. // Tall boats. Small boats. / Heave-and-haul boats.” So begins Boswell’s playful, rhythmic, and compact text. Mostov’s illustrations, which are graphically simple and pleasingly two-dimensional in dark and bold colors, depict a wide range of floating apparatuses, mostly in profile. There are human-powered boats, such as kayaks, a dinghy, and pedal-powered boats, and nature- and machine-powered vehicles, such as a few types of sailboats, submarines, a motorboat, and an airboat. As the text goes on, they grow quite fanciful and include a sailboat carried aloft by balloons and sea-horse– and flamingo-shaped vessels. Seemingly in order to cram in as many as possible, some of the pages cut the boats off in unsatisfying ways, and boat-obsessed toddlers may be disappointed they don’t see a full image of a shipwreck or a container ship. Although there’s a clichéd white, bearded sea captain with a bird on the shoulder, a diverse group of folks pilot these crafts and include multiracial crews on several boats and a brown-skinned family clad in modern gear and paddling a traditional-looking canoe.

A playful excursion for young mariners. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63217-268-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A ferociously entertaining blend of wonder, thrills, and science.


From the Zoom series

Young explorers risk prehistoric perils and cataclysmic destruction to learn about the dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous.

Best friends Jasmine (who has brown skin and wears dark hair in a braid) and Jamie (who presents White and has a thatch of brown hair) set their time machine for the days of the dinosaurs, go exploring, and make it home in time for dinner. This well-constructed board book is both visually engaging and as rich in information as it is in adventure. It features 17 different two-page set pieces, 24 distinctly labeled prehistoric creatures, creative die cuts offering tantalizing peeks at what lies beyond each turn of the page, and a spectacular pop-up of the asteroid that caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. The adventurers journey through or over habitats ranging from jungles, swamps, deserts, plains, and oceans and fly through the air and dive in the sea with the help of a friendly pterosaur and elasmosaurus, respectively. The featured creatures are all Age-appropriate, as is the asteroid. The two friends are cool and cavalier about tracking T. rex and chasing Velociraptor. Caregivers might want to caution their charges that, if or when they get their time machines working, they should exercise appropriate caution when approaching powerful, carnivorous eating machines. Companion volume Rainforest Adventure stars a light-brown–skinned girl named Lin and is a similarly engaging and informative trek down the Amazon and, once again, home by dinner. Both offer inspiration for inquisitive young adventurers everywhere.

A ferociously entertaining blend of wonder, thrills, and science. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-912920-46-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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While it is (mostly) an appropriately simple introduction to the sport, the lack of player diversity is discouraging, if not...


From the Let's Play series

A baseball-shaped primer for the littlest sluggers.

Brimming with baseball facts, each round page presents heavily captioned photos and one or two sentences of declarative text. Baseball vocabulary abounds, and little ones can learn the names of the equipment, the positions, various kinds of pitches (“The pitch can be a curveball, slider, fastball, or sinker”), and a few different rules (“If the batter hits the ball, they run to first base”). In the photos, almost all the players, who have a range of hair lengths and look as though they could be both male and female, are white. The final double-page spread shows two different celebratory shots of two apparently all-white Little League teams, with nary a person of color in sight. The small trim size is approximately 5 inches in diameter, which confines the little action that is portrayed, and the narrow binding will likely not survive robust play or library circulation.

While it is (mostly) an appropriately simple introduction to the sport, the lack of player diversity is discouraging, if not out-and-out astonishing. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0399-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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