A bang-up banquet certain to draw demands for repeat courses and sturdy enough to survive them.

CHOMP GOES THE ALLIGATOR

A hungry alligator chows down on 10 sets of unwary swamp denizens—with, eventually, predictable results.

The heavy-duty pull-tab in the back cover is going to get a real workout here, as it makes the cheery gator’s jaw (visible above the top of each page) snap loudly shut to a chorus of “chomp, chomp, chomp!” on one “shiny, blue” fish, followed by two “furry, brown” otters, three “fluffy, white” cranes, and so on up to 10 “shimmering, purple” hummingbirds. As the adjectival insertions hint, each brightly smiling new quarry in the colorful cartoon illustrations comes with not only a number to count, but a textured tactile patch to touch (each scene also features a few artfully placed die-cut holes). Likely deflecting at least most parental frets about implicit or explicit violence in the rhymed and patterned scenario, Van Fleet arranges his figures so there’s no actual eating to be seen. As it eats, the increasingly rotund crocodile sprouts rainbow stripes so it looks rather like a striped pool toy—and when it at the end chomps on one tiny fish too many, it proceeds to belch out all the unharmed victims in a mighty foldout explosion. “Excuse me!” Inconspicuous labels on most of the flora and fauna dish up further nibbles of natural history.

A bang-up banquet certain to draw demands for repeat courses and sturdy enough to survive them. (Pop-up board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2677-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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