A small girl learns to accept herself as she is in a story told in simple and engaging words and imaginative pictures.

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AM I SMALL?

A PICTURE STORY BY PHILIPP WINTERBERG AND NADJA WICHMANN

A picture book tells children that no matter what your size, you are perfect the way you are.

In Winterberg’s (Fifteen Feet of Time, 2013) book, Tamia wants to figure out if she is small or not. In a simple question-and-answer format, she asks various creatures about her size. A big creature with yellow fur says: “Small? You? You are smaller than small! You are teeny-weeny!” Tamia puts her question to others, including a crescent moon, who answers, “Tiny? You? You are microscopic!" About halfway through the story, she begins to ask a different question: “Am I big?” Scaling down from the large creatures she approached at first, Tamia turns to a turtle, a flower, a ladybug and a small green worm. The worm, sticking out of an apple, tells Tamia, “You are gigantic!” In a magnificent realization, Tamia sees that size is relative. “I’ve got it!” Tamia says, “I’m everything, and if I’m everything, I’m also: just right!” On their own, children may find it a bit difficult to read Winterberg’s words, which often appear on top of illustrations and can be hard to discern, but adults should have no trouble reading the story to them. Wichmann’s detailed and dreamlike illustrations complement the simple messages of the book: Accept yourself as you are, no matter what your size, and you don’t have to compare yourself to others in order to be special. In addition to Tamia’s curly hair and her zany red hat, each page has details children may want to study. On one page, these include an image of a green turtle floating in a pond alongside a duck wearing water wings. Some of the pictures are so fanciful they can be a challenge to decipher, but that may add to their appeal for children who enjoy lingering over pages full of magical creatures and whimsical details.

A small girl learns to accept herself as she is in a story told in simple and engaging words and imaginative pictures.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1492309772

Page Count: 28

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2014

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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