Standard concepts, tabs to turn, and perennially smiling animal characters are the salient features of this book and its companions.
Hogan's greeting-card background is evident in these peppy titles, but some of her choices may give readers pause. On the page that asks, “What can you hear at home?” there is no evidence of human life. Instead, the brightly hued illustration shows a bird, a cat, and a dog—obviously house pets, but why no people? On a page featuring town noises, the sole woman simply drives a car, while two men drive a train and work on a road. The same unfortunate stereotype creeps into Dinosaur Big, Dinosaur Small. “Daddy lion is loud,” while opposite him, a seraphically smiling “Mommy lion is quiet.” The more successful Early Birds titles are Rainbow Zoo, about colors, and 123 Under the Sea, about counting. These straightforward concepts benefit from the unnuanced treatment. The tabs are closely related to the actual page content, displaying either an iconic image or, in the case of 123 Under the Sea, a large numeral. Hagen's stylized designs have no hint of colors actually seen in nature—pink fish with kissy mouths, a smiley blue hippo and elephant. The same lion, monkey, dinosaur, and frog show up in several of the titles.
A mixed bag. (Board book. 1-3)