What this and its companion lack in clarity of concepts, they make up for in character.

READ REVIEW

ORANGE, TRIANGLE, FOX

An exploration of colors, shapes and animals.

On the left-hand side of the page, against a solid background of the shade in question, a white shape with three words in its interior names the attributes being described: “purple heart bug” or “red square owl.” On the facing pages are Jones’ winsome animal drawings in what looks to be a watercolor wash in a pale shade of the featured hue. Each animal forms the shape that has been named—some more successfully than others. The hedgehog “circle” is actually an oval, and the blue jay’s rectangular form is more than a little forced, but the frog cleverly conforms to the star’s shape, and the turtle makes a convincing semicircle. The companion title, Bunnies Near and Far, also focuses on multiple concepts at once; a warren of rabbits demonstrates opposites and counting up to 10. The bunnies are quite adorably fluffy as they go for a ride in a carrot-shaped car or attempt to play guitar collectively. While the opposites are clearly presented (near/far and up/down), the critters are shown as big, white heaps of fur, thus making them difficult to count. A faint, extra bunny appears on the last spread, bringing the number of rabbits up to 11, even though the rhyming verse instructs readers to count up to 10.

What this and its companion lack in clarity of concepts, they make up for in character. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-21-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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