Infused with an unsettling energy, this might make for a raucous read-aloud with carefully chosen audiences

READ REVIEW

JIBBER-JABBER

Eclectic linocut animals are arranged into rhyming or sound-alike pairs.

Running beneath square-framed linoprints of animals, the bold, dynamically sized black and brown letters (also linoprinted) leap off the page, starting with a tiny mouse’s “Squeak” and an exuberant parrot’s imposing, askew “Squawk.” Small, neatly typed labels underneath mean the text can be read as commands (“Howl wolf”; “Growl bear”) or simply animal sounds. Pairings vary between rhyming (“Moo” and “Hooo”) or purely onomatopoeic combos (“ZZZZ” and “SSSS”). Created in a folk-art style, each linocut animal is a technical triumph. That parrot, with fuchsia head and golden beak aimed at the sky, with precise lines emanating outward, is the epitome of “Squawk.” However skillfully constructed though, some animals edge closer to creepy than cute. A lop-eyed cow and slack-jawed horse have jarring faces; a donkey in midkick looks vaguely menacing. Muddied color palettes add to the unease, as with the roaring lion with pointy white claws glinting against a blood red background. Some, such as the serene wolf or the goose soaring through meticulously shaded white clouds, hit the right balance of quirky yet accessible, but it’s an odd testament when a snake and a mosquito are among the friendliest-looking animals.

Infused with an unsettling energy, this might make for a raucous read-aloud with carefully chosen audiences . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56846-315-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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