Burach earns a fist bump if not an actual high-five.

READ REVIEW

HI-FIVE ANIMALS!

The user instructions on the cover of this board book are simple: “Read, Hi-Five, Repeat.”

Black-lined cartoon images of 12 different animals holding out various appendages for readers to slap are accompanied by rhyming invitations to play this greeting game. Burach assumes, probably correctly, that toddlers already know how to give a high-five, but any who don’t will soon. His rhymes work: “STOMP YOUR FEET! / Hi-five a trunk! // Hold your nose. Hi-five a skunk!” But they introduce vocabulary that many toddlers may not yet possess, as in an elephant’s “trunk,” so caregivers will need to be ready to help interpret. Sometimes meaning becomes lost in the cleverness, as with “Belly slide, flipper flap! / Round the back, polar clap!” This rhyme is paired with a stylized penguin and an extremely abstract polar bear that’s positioned back to, holding its paw behind its back. Each animal has googly eyes, and usually one wing, paw, or fin is extra-large to make a target. The exaggerated appendages that facilitate the game also make the animals look out of proportion and even less like the real thing. The book’s sturdy construction and extra-thick pages will survive the repeated rough handling it invites.

Burach earns a fist bump if not an actual high-five. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-24567-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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