An entertaining, well-designed introduction to the ocean world.

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SLIDE & SURPRISE IN THE OCEAN

Every page of this pull-the-tab book features weird and wonderful marine life hiding in a vibrantly illustrated underwater environment.

Many of the tabs reveal information about the creatures’ bodies, behaviors, and habitats. Revealed with an upward pull, the father sea horse, for example, cares for his babies “behind the seaweed,” referencing the phenomenon that sea horses carry and hatch the young of the species. Similarly, a squirting squid hides in a “cloud of ink,” referring to the squid’s ink sacs. The bottom of each double-page spread also contains a more explicit fact, such as the fact that squids have three hearts. The illustrations are colorful and detailed, giving young children plenty to look at while they are listening to the text. Some of the text guides readers through the book by posing questions that can be answered by pulling the tabs; other tabs ask readers to do things like identify starfish by their colors or count sea gulls that multiply with the pull of a cleverly telescoping tab. The book is well designed—the tabs are furnished with grommets, and they are large and easy to manipulate—and while the text is sparse, its simplicity makes it perfect for very young children.

An entertaining, well-designed introduction to the ocean world. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36004-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep.

DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

A diver directly recruits his audience to explore the salty sea.

Closed, the shaped cover follows the curve of the diver’s helmet; open, it evokes goggles through which readers can explore the deep. A variety of underwater creatures are revealed through lifting flaps; brief rhyming text on the undersides of the flaps provides a little informational heft. These rhymes are not distinguished by their lyricism, alas. “Jellyfish are pretty— / some glow in the dark. / But don't swim too close— / their sting leaves a mark.” The simply drawn creatures are not depicted to scale. The seahorse dominates its page, while the toothy shark appears shorter than the sea turtle. Two-toned blue backgrounds evoke waves. Space Walk uses an identical format to survey the planets (all eight of them) and is equally superficial.

The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8525-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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