Dinosaur fans will happily engage, but true budding paleontologists will quickly grow out of it


From the Can You Say It, Too? series

Bright colors and dramatic scenes will attract young dinosaur lovers to this board book with shaped, oversized flaps that hide five popular dinosaurs.

The predictable format lends itself to use with young toddlers. An unnamed dinosaur on the left side of each spread asks a question. When a large flap on the facing page is turned, an extinct creature—there are five in all—is revealed. A sound or behavior one might imagine could be characteristic of that animal is repeated in a larger font. A “happy triceratops” stomps; a “giant diplodocus” munches; a “sleepy stegosaurus” snores; a “flying pterodactyl” squawks; a “mighty Tyrannosaurus rex” (and hatchlings) roars. (Only “Tyrannosaurus” is captitalized, presumably as its moniker includes the full Latin name.) Curiously, the triceratops is described as “happy” with no evidence of that emotion beyond a slight, anthropomorphized smile. If it is happy, why is it stomping? Clever toddlers will quickly learn that the flap in the slightly raised frame on the right-hand page is almost always hinged at the bottom. A second flap opens to the side on the T. rex spread to reveal three baby tyrannosauruses in their eggshells. However, this one is quite difficult to manipulate and easily torn.

Dinosaur fans will happily engage, but true budding paleontologists will quickly grow out of it . (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9934-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Pass on this weak offering.


From the My First Stories series

A predictable board-book mystery.

The mystery involves a common childhood crisis—a lost toy. Ho’s trademark round-headed animals stand in for humans with a range of emotions, from the persistently worried Little Bunny to grumpy Pig. Each barnyard animal offers the distraught bunny a comforting alternative to his blanket, “Fluffy.” Finally, when Mouse admits to borrowing Fluffy for a snuggle, Little Bunny forgives him surprisingly quickly because, “I love my Fluffy for snuggling too.” The rhyming text presents problems—either by not actually rhyming (lost/most; fur/near) or falling inconsistently, making end rhymes unpredictable and less than useful in a book for pre-readers. Instead of letting the pictures tell the story, superfluous speaker attributions make this a tedious read-aloud and impede the rhyme: “ ‘I'll search the pond for your Fluffy,’ says Duck. / ‘I've looked underwater already. No luck!’ Fish tells Little Bunny.” The various flaps, foil inserts, and very small tactile elements are not intriguing enough to rescue the story. The tiny patch of wolf fur peeking through the page with the lambs is easily missed (and is disconcertingly far away from the picture of the wolf). Perhaps out of concern for the safety of the lamb, the wolf does not appear on the next page. No similar caution is shown when the owl shares a page with its prey. Do owls not eat chicks wearing spectacles?

Pass on this weak offering. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-2-7338-3235-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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From the Noah's Park series , Vol. 3

Six little animal babies spend the day at Noah’s Park.

A baby dog, bear, cat, panda, pig, and snail in colorful onesies and overalls are planning a day in Noah’s Park. As they all sit or stand in a group looking out at readers, the unrelated text above them says “Explore, swing, dance, and jump….” A gatefold flap—which is always a crowd-pleaser with toddlers—reveals they’ve decided to sail away. They put on their life jackets, pack a snack, and off they go. The sweet-looking, cartoony animals board a pink-and-blue–checkered boat, from which they see ducks and ducklings bobbing to and fro. They take a break, feed the ducks, have their own snack, and sail back home. There really is not much action in the book, as the animals just sit or stand around, in spite of the action indicated at the beginning. Even at the end when the text says, “Let’s clean up and sing a god-bye tune,” they are just standing in the boat looking out at the ducks. Hopefully, real toddlers will have more engaging days than the one depicted in this board book.

Sweet but dull. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4263-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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