OK, if aptly titled.

READ REVIEW

STANDROID & DANDROID MAKE A MESS

From the Standroid & Dandroid series

Robot buddies trash the house together and then clean up after themselves.

After charging up their batteries, two colorful robots initiate their play sequence and go to town “squishing,” “crashing,” “twirling,” and “splatting” anything in their paths. The artwork is eye-catching and the sound effects fun to read aloud with children, but the mayhem level is unregulated by any moral or practical concern. The narrative is thin. What the robots are squishing and splatting is never specified, and whether or not they should be doing so also goes unaddressed. Commentary is relegated to the “We LOVE squishing” level. Any complexity in the text arises from the introduction of robot and computer terminology: “Splatting TICKLES our GIGGLEBYTES,” and “Sensors indicate making a mess is FUN!!” Once mired in the mess they’ve created, the two friends scan their surroundings, process the data, and identify a solution, which is, of course, to clean up their mess. That lesson in problem-solving may be the most useful moment in the book. The clean-up scenes involve wiping, slurping with vacuum hoses, squirting suds, and scrubbing until the mess is “terminated.” The message that one should clean up after making a mess is a good one. Unfortunately, the idea of toddlers smearing goo and squirting suds sounds as potentially disastrous as all the squishing and splatting that created the problem in the first place.

OK, if aptly titled. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0567-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon.

THE LITTLE GARDENER

From the Teenie Greenies series

A young girl watches her garden grow.

Though she's a bit older than the typical board-book audience, her self-reliance makes her an appealing character for toddlers struggling to assert their independence. The strategic use of sturdy flaps provides both peekaboo fun and structure to the storyline. “Yellow daisy. / Red rose. / A bud blooms. / [lift flap] A flower grows.” Some of the interactive elements clearly connect objects to one another (shovel, pail), while other pairings review the progress of the blossoming outdoors. The child enjoys the results of her hard work (smelling a flower has never been so sweet) and waters her lush plants with her pint-sized watering can. Varied vocabulary extends the text. “Harvest carrots / . . . squash and peas. / [lift flap] Pollinated by the bees.” Perhaps due to their having been printed on recycled paper with soy inks, the matte sides of the flaps tend to be darker than the rest, which are glossy.

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93041-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple,...

WHO ARE WE?

AN ANIMAL GUESSING GAME

An engaging, lift-the-flap riddle book that will keep little ones guessing.

The left side of each double-page spread offers a short, rhyming couplet describing a certain type of animal’s movement. For instance, the book begins with: “When we move, we are pretty slow. / Waddling keeps us warm in snow.” On the right side of the page is the question “Who are we?” printed atop a flap. On the edge of each flap is a tab with an arrow as well as a clue to the riddle’s answer. In this case, readers see orange, webbed feet and a white body. Simply lifting the flap reveals the word “Penguins” and three penguins who appear to be waddling across the page, but pulling on the tab in the direction indicated by the arrow reveals a hidden gatefold with another penguin scene and a fun fact: “We penguins have feathers to keep us dry and warm!” In addition to the penguins, readers see giraffes, snakes, arctic foxes and leopards. The rhyming riddles are amusing but not easy; children will need help from the clue on the tab to guess the answers. The appealing illustrations feature frolicking animals and uncluttered, skillfully rendered landscapes.

Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple, interesting animal facts this offering provides. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46762-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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