While the puffy cover seems to signal “gift shop book” and the rather bland story does not stand out from the crowd, young...

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LITTLE FOX, LOST

A Québecois import offers a cautionary wintertime tale.

In this pretty book, Mama Fox invites Little Fox out for a walk in the inviting snowy woods, warning him to stay close so that he won’t get lost. Little Fox, however, enchanted with his own game of making “pictures in the snow” with his paw prints, soon becomes discombobulated and lost. The rosy-cheeked Old Owl offers to guide him to Mama, but Little Fox remembers his mother’s admonishing rhyme: “If ever you are lost my child / Don’t let a stranger guide you. / Be still, and I will search the wild / Until I am beside you.” Various cute animals of the forest join in with Little Fox (including Old Owl after a grumble or two), and they sing this rhyme together, until the happy ending when Mama arrives, proud that Little Fox “had done exactly what he should.” Padrón’s cute animals and soft scenes of winter woods, done in muted grays, blues, and earth tones, pair well with the gentle words of this story to reach a satisfying conclusion and a gentle lesson for the very young for whom this story is intended.

While the puffy cover seems to signal “gift shop book” and the rather bland story does not stand out from the crowd, young ones will surely be comforted by the reuniting of Mama and Little Fox. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77278-004-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Wonderful, indeed

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THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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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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