More lift-the-flap adventure than storybook.

MY PEEKABOO ANIMALS

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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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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