While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to...

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LOOK WHAT I CAN DO

A FIRST CONCEPTS BOOK

From the Guess How Much I Love You series

Little Nutbrown Hare explores colors, actions, shapes, numbers, sounds and the natural world on seven double-page spreads as his doting father looks on.

Beyond the basic captions typically found in concept books, the text includes father-and-son dialogue that echoes Guess How Much I Love You: “Would you rather be a caterpillar or a frog?” asks Big Nutbrown Hare. “I’d rather be big like you,” the little one replies. Jeram’s lovely, soft watercolors appear to be a mix of illustrations recycled from other books in the popular series and original paintings. As a concept book, it is a mixed bag. The pages focusing on numbers are the most successful, with oversized numbers on the outsides of 10 flaps and pictures of dainty critters, from one bird to 10 ladybugs, to count on the insides. Less effective is the spread demonstrating colors; it utilizes flimsier flaps with blocks of the hue in question on the exteriors and almost-too-subtle-in-color illustrations of vegetation on the interiors. While the pages titled “Actions” effectively show the young hare engaging in a nice variety of movements (including sniffing and blowing), the “Shapes” section only introduces three shapes, and the geometric square looks a little out of place in this English wood.

While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to teaching about a more conceptual world. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7064-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.

CRUNCH! MUNCH! BUNNY

Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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