Great for toddlers who are practicing counting.

COUNTING WITH OWL AND BIRD

From the Owl and Bird series

Another well-designed concept book featuring the two slightly bemused friends.

Owl and Bird return this time for a counting walk. The slight story opens with Owl, carrying an open umbrella, and Bird on the teal-blue left-hand page and an invitation to readers to “help them count the things they see.” On the opposite, sky-blue page they count “1 / One rainbow.” Then Owl’s umbrella becomes a prop for Bird to perch on or for Owl to use to point out the next object to be counted. This pattern continues until the final spread, when Owl counts 12 stars on the sky-blue left before the story ends with “Good night, Owl and Bird” on the night-blue right. Every other page presents just the numeral within a circle, and the number and name of what is to be counted. The sans-serif white font displays cleanly against the blue backgrounds. Whimsical details in the illustrations (Owl’s pink rain boots, the two flamingos’ hats) do not distract from the primary goal of counting. And there is always the little white Bird to find. Despite the increasing number of objects per page, the design remains uncluttered and focused. Smaller objects are featured as their numbers increase, so there are three kites and five airplanes but eight spiders, 10 bumblebees, and 11 leaves. Finding the ninth apple is a bit challenging. (It’s under Owl’s wing.)

Great for toddlers who are practicing counting. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-80036-011-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiny Seed

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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