In the age of YouTube and downloadable music, a holiday board book with recordings is probably not an essential purchase,...

READ REVIEW

I LOVE THE NUTCRACKER

From the My First Sound series

Six of the most recognizable songs from Tchaikovsky’s ballet receive brief board-book treatment.

The prominently boldfaced title of each dance is followed by a brief suggestion of what to listen for or find in the illustration. Toddlers will easily locate and press the button that plays 13 to 16 seconds of the opening bars of each song. There is no real attempt to place the whimsical tunes in context or to follow a storyline; instead, each spread is illustrated with dancing cartoon animals dressed in brightly colored, vaguely ethnic costumes. For example, for the “Russian Dance,” three gray foxes wear Cossack-type hats and embroidered jackets. Two pandas wearing Mandarin suit jackets dance around a teapot to illustrate the “Chinese Dance.” Most readers, whether toddlers or adults, will wonder what’s going on in the “Dance of the Mirlitons”; the animals “performing” it are wearing generic Western play clothes. No matter; the real point of this book is the music, which comes through clearly regardless of how the book is handled. A power supply installed in the last, extra-thick page has an “on/off” switch hidden under a flap. Instructions in tiny print explain how to replace the three button cell batteries.

In the age of YouTube and downloadable music, a holiday board book with recordings is probably not an essential purchase, but this is a well-executed alternative for caregivers wanting to incorporate music with reading time. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-26720-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

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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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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