A cheery-enough chance to meet some denizens of the deep.

COLORS UNDER THE SEA

From the I Can Find series

Young scuba divers get up close and personal with creatures they find in the ocean.

Barely serviceable rhyming couplets hold the focus on brightly colored ocean animals. “In our orange submarine / we dive down with a swish / All the orange creatures / Think that we're an orange fish!” (The name of each color is rendered in matching type.) Softly rounded characters are undeniably child-friendly. Scalloped edges on the cover resemble waves and provide background for tabs with smiling fish on them. A circle inset in the corner of each scene provides a visual key to the creatures depicted; an accompanying question encourages audience participation (“Can you find…”). Each double-page spread highlights a different shade. Countdown by the Sea presents the numbers from 10 down to one in similar fashion.

A cheery-enough chance to meet some denizens of the deep. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60727-700-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Palm Kids

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

PEEKABOO REX!

From the Boynton on Board series

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to.

SMILE, POUT-POUT FISH

This simplified version of Diesen and Hanna’s The Pout-Pout Fish (2008) is appropriate for babies and toddlers.

Brief, rhyming text tells the story of a sullen fish cheered up with a kiss. A little pink sea creature pokes his head out of a hole in the sea bottom to give the gloomy fish some advice: “Smile, Mr. Fish! / You look so down // With your glum-glum face / And your pout-pout frown.” He explains that there’s no reason to be worried, scared, sad or mad and concludes: “How about a smooch? / And a cheer-up wish? // Now you look happy: / What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Simple and sweet, this tale offers the lesson that sometimes, all that’s needed for a turnaround in mood is some cheer and encouragement to change our perspective. The clean, uncluttered illustrations are kept simple, except for the pout-pout fish’s features, which are delightfully expressive. Little ones will easily recognize and likely try to copy the sad, scared and angry looks that cross the fish’s face.

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-37084-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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