These chicks are an adorable brood. Here’s hoping Flora and an array of beasties will be appearing in the flaps of more...

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FLORA AND THE CHICKS

A COUNTING BOOK

Flora, the animal-loving star of a wordless trio of picture books, makes her board-book debut by counting chicks as they hatch.

On every other double-page spread, one or two gatefold flaps unveil an extended scene as the little white girl and the chicks play together. The number of babies increases with each turn of a page or a relatively sturdy flap, revealing chicks of a variety of colors, from classic yellow to deep brown. This offering is wordless as well, but a numeral floats on the matte-white backgrounds as each one of the eggs hatches. Idle’s skill at capturing balletic body language, both of Flora and of the hatchlings, is in top form here. In smooth, rounded swaths of muted colors, the youngster and the chicks chase and cavort in wonderfully comic scenes; one chick emerges from an egg feet first, another can’t seem to dislodge a shell from its head, and a third dances with a coveted worm. The mama hen, who appeared at the beginning of the action and promptly exited to the left, returns on the penultimate and final spreads to round off the counting exercise to 10.

These chicks are an adorable brood. Here’s hoping Flora and an array of beasties will be appearing in the flaps of more board books soon. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4657-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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