Though the book’s flaps are overambitious, horse lovers will be champing at the bit to meet these new farm friends

READ REVIEW

HORSE TALES

From the Double Booked! series

Meet various horses and hear their stories in this lift-the-flap ode to all things equine.

Cut into a barn shape, this board book splits down the middle so that the barn doors open outward. On each side is a stall with door-shaped flaps. Through brief, somewhat stiff biographies, readers meet 12 of the (fictional) horses with surprisingly variant stories, from Clyde the firefighter to Biscuit, the itty-bitty pony who prides in taking children “on their first ride.” Each stall displays eclectic paraphernalia that reflects the horse’s particular backstory. Circus horse Nutmeg’s stall showcases fancy feathers, framed photos of her glory days, and lift-the-flap stall doors painted in circus tent stripes that reveal Nutmeg herself, prancing and costumed. Though there’s no plot, there’s a cozy summation as readers meet new mother Maple on the final page, ruminating about which path her own tiny foal might take. Quaint, pastel-colored illustrations feel as though they might be stills from a vintage animated film. All of this warmth however, is reined in by the unwieldy design. Though the cover proudly proclaims “26 lift-the-flaps inside!” it’s too many to comfortably read with a lap-sit child, with flaps flying open unexpectedly and making it difficult to see the sweet horses in their entirety.

Though the book’s flaps are overambitious, horse lovers will be champing at the bit to meet these new farm friends . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7088-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Peppa Pig partisans will be pleased, but the book does little that hasn’t been done elsewhere already.

I CAN BE ANYTHING!

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa Pig, of British TV fame, loves to dress up and imagines herself in a variety of professions on these subtly Peppa-shaped pages.

In dance class, she pretends to be a ballerina, and at “Mummy Pig’s volunteer firehouse, Peppa imagines she is a firefighter, too.” In five further double-page tableaux, she role-plays—and bucks some gender stereotypes—at being a chef, a nurse, a construction worker, and an astronaut. Peppa Pig fans will recognize their favorite pink heroine, complete with her signature Picasso-esque eye placement and red dress, and several supporting critters (including Pedro Pony) of a variety of species fill out the simply drawn, bland, full-bleed digital scenes. The text consists of two to three sentences of simple narration and the name of each career with a few important action words set in bold, colored type. The final spread reviews all the jobs Peppa explored, emphasizing that she “loves to imagine that she can be anything when she grows up.”

Peppa Pig partisans will be pleased, but the book does little that hasn’t been done elsewhere already. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-22883-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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