Overall, this colorful concept connects the right dots for a toddler audience

READ REVIEW

GO WILD WITH... DESIGNS

Single-word labels highlight a creative range of designs.

Animal bodies and patterns comprise this repertoire of recognizable shapes. Some examples include natural markings found on animals' bodies, such as a Dalmatian’s spots or a giraffe's patches; others exploit the actual nuance of the body. Among the latter, the "star" made by the sea star is obvious, while the curve of the swan's neck may require adult interpretation for children to understand. Even the unadorned hippo gets a chance to shine; the accompanying text reads “plain.” Some arrangements extend into the background; the zebra's stripes find an echo in the blades of grass. Other background scenes seem boldly barren. The British import adds a child-friendly emphasis to the subjects' appearances through wobbly dark lines, googly-eyed faces and disproportionate limbs. There's not a menacing creature to be found; even the slithering reptile wears a timid expression. Arrows serve as a fitting final shape, as the bird's feet march right off the page. In Go Wild with…Noises, appropriate sounds correspond to living creatures, both wild and domestic; the elephant (“thump”) lumbers with stomping feet.

Overall, this colorful concept connects the right dots for a toddler audience . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84365-176-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Trafalgar Square

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.

CRUNCH! MUNCH! BUNNY

Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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