The text’s repeated invitation to shake this fake snow globe will frustrate 21st-century children, who expect more from...

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MY SNOW GLOBE

A SPARKLY PEEK-THROUGH STORY

This board book offers sturdy pages that can be handled more roughly than the breakable knickknack it tries to emulate.

A circular clear plastic window dotted with sparkling glitter “snow” reveals decorative cutouts reminiscent of holiday greeting cards. These pages are cleverly layered, but the text and pictures don't always match. The second stanza invites readers to “follow the footprints,” but the footprints in the pictures are indistinct, failing to deliver on an implied game. Rhyming verses set in arcs to echo the rounded shape of a snow globe point out some detail of each animal's behavior or home. The final page shows previously introduced animals—foxes, rabbits, moose, raccoons, and owl—in relation to one another, some snuggled belowground and others foraging above. This might clarify some of the rather difficult vocabulary and help young children understand what a “den” and “burrow” are, but introducing a chipmunk to the scene may confuse observant readers. A cardinal flits across each spread until landing in its winter nest, which also houses a mama bird and three babies—a distressingly inaccurate depiction of the avian life cycle in winter.

The text’s repeated invitation to shake this fake snow globe will frustrate 21st-century children, who expect more from interactive books. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-92176-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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