Little animal lovers will enjoy gazing at the photographs while learning a little bit about these creatures' real lives and...

ELEPHANTS SPRAY

From the Amazing Changing Pictures series

This brief photographic nonfiction offering introduces little ones to the many uses of an elephant’s trunk.

An elephant’s strong trunk can do many amazing things, including smelling, carrying food to its mouth, drinking, spraying water, and hugging friends. The stock photos used to illustrate these actions, while they vary in quality from the ordinary to the striking, will in all likelihood succeed in catching the attention of curious toddlers and preschoolers. A light pink column occupies the right- or left-hand border of each double-page spread, displaying the text in white print, a color choice that doesn’t provide enough contrast with the background for easy reading. The syntax and vocabulary, though, are kept simple and appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers: “Sniff, sniff! He smells food,” for example, and “Munch, munch! Here’s a tasty lunch.” Other, very similar titles in the series include Monkeys Swing, Giraffes Stretch, Penguins Waddle, Lions Roar, and Dolphins Play. All of them feature photographic images and simple text that showcase the animals in action.

Little animal lovers will enjoy gazing at the photographs while learning a little bit about these creatures' real lives and behaviors. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68152-068-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep.

DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

A diver directly recruits his audience to explore the salty sea.

Closed, the shaped cover follows the curve of the diver’s helmet; open, it evokes goggles through which readers can explore the deep. A variety of underwater creatures are revealed through lifting flaps; brief rhyming text on the undersides of the flaps provides a little informational heft. These rhymes are not distinguished by their lyricism, alas. “Jellyfish are pretty— / some glow in the dark. / But don't swim too close— / their sting leaves a mark.” The simply drawn creatures are not depicted to scale. The seahorse dominates its page, while the toothy shark appears shorter than the sea turtle. Two-toned blue backgrounds evoke waves. Space Walk uses an identical format to survey the planets (all eight of them) and is equally superficial.

The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8525-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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