Buy where necessary for its cuteness—not for its facts.

READ REVIEW

ANIMAL SOUNDS

From the Tiny Touch series

One kind of animal per page, one sound per animal, one word per page makes this an easy conversation starter with very young children, though a more accurate title might have been Farm Animal Sounds.

Tots will recognize the smiling pig, lamb, owl, horse, duck, cow, mice, and chicken that are depicted in cheerful cartoonish illustrations, each vocalizing appropriately: “Quack! / Moo!” Sturdy board pages with rounded corners and a glossy, wipeable finish will hold up to heavy use. Three other new titles in the Tiny Touch series are also available. Animal Colors follows the same format, presenting a single color and animal per page. Unfortunately, the cartoon palette does not translate to the colors of actual animals, and the chameleon used to illustrate (misleadingly) the rainbow is not named. Jungle Animals offers a mix of African and South American animals and, unfortunately, includes a giraffe, whose habitat is the savanna, not a jungle. Animal Babies includes just five animals and avoids factual missteps. These points may seem minor in a board book, but even babies and toddlers should be given accurate information, especially in a book that will be read again and again.

Buy where necessary for its cuteness—not for its facts. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0060-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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