More lift-the-flap adventure than storybook.



This lift-the-flap board book presents a variety of animals grouped by climate and habitat.

The fun of this one for little readers is the thrill of opening little flaps (sometimes several) hidden beneath larger flaps, acting as a book version of a nesting doll. Each two-page spread shows a different grouping: animals “under the sea” or “on ice,” for example. Some animals are simply identified; others are given more elaborate descriptions. While many of the animals will be familiar to preschool-age enthusiasts, some are lesser known, like the quokka, bilby, and capybara. The combination of recognizable and unfamiliar animals and the element of surprise behind the flaps will keep readers engaged. The backgrounds depicting each habitat are brightly colored and mimic the landscape in each: The jungle is a busy tangle of branches and vines while, in contrast, the forest is grassy and shaded. The animals are softened, cartoon versions of the originals with wide eyes. The images of the animals under the succession of flaps at times appear skewed, like a warthog below a cheetah below a lion, all out of proportion. A polar bear and arctic fox are confoundingly shown inside an igloo, which is not an animal home and helps to perpetuate misunderstandings about Indigenous peoples; bees are inaccurately depicted as residing in a paper-wasp nest. These issues aside, the mechanics and topic of this book will give it high appeal for little readers.

More lift-the-flap adventure than storybook. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-604-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.


Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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