DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

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

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 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

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. 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

WORLD OF HAPPY

POCKET LIBRARY

Despite the positivity, much of the sentiment and imagery will go over the heads of babies and toddlers.

Six little books in a boxed set promote an optimistic view of the world.

Each of these 3-inch-square works presents four cartoon scenes, each one on a double-page spread. The text comprises one-sentence captions expressing sentiments that have been said before and with more artistry. Friends shares these thoughts: “Let’s DANCE and be FRIENDS. / FRIENDS make you feel all WARM inside. / Friends are KIND to each other. / You are my truest FRIEND.” The other titles, which include Life, You and Me and Fun, follow a similar format. Each cartoon is speckled with hearts, flowers, stars and other upbeat symbols; various cutesy animals with human accessories dramatize the scenes in flat colors. Unfortunately, the imagery is too sophisticated for average board-book readers. The first page of Love shows a couple of bears obsessed with a variety of sophisticated high-tech gadgets, and Happiness includes an illustration of a gorilla contentedly knitting. One clever feature: The back covers of the six books fit together in two rows to create a picture of a contented hippo.

Despite the positivity, much of the sentiment and imagery will go over the heads of babies and toddlers. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4052-5963-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Egmont UK

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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