Interactions make this simple day on the farm a fun one.

FARM THE FARM

Spend the day on the farm, caring for the animals.

Calling all farmers! Put on your overalls and boots, because we are going to the farm. Readers are first introduced to a sad cow, who just wants to graze the pasture. “Swing” open the gate (flap), and the cow is happy to go. Next, readers meet hungry, unhappy hens. Lift the flap to “sprinkle some food” and see them eating away. Moving along, readers find a pony who needs some primping. Turn down the flap to “brush” its mane and ta-da! The pony’s eyes are visible. Next, readers see an egg that’s too cold. When readers flip the flap to turn on the heat lamp, surprise! A duckling hatches. Oh no! The goat is hungry—move the flap to “feed” it from a bottle. Time to grab the clippers and “swipe” them across the sheep’s fleece. Lift the flap to see the happy, shaved sheep. Next, readers meet the pig from the cover, dismayed by the dust. Turn the flap to “twist the faucet” and make a muddy wallow. Finally, it’s time to pick up the poop. “Grab a shovel” and some grossed-out laughs before flipping the flap to clean it up. Reul’s expressive, funny cartoons give her animals lots of personality, and the highlighted verbs are robust additions to toddlers’ vocabularies.

Interactions make this simple day on the farm a fun one. (Board book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0940-8

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Ideal for any community where children count.

COUNTING ON COMMUNITY

A difficult concept is simply and strikingly illustrated for the very youngest members of any community, with a counting exercise to boot.

From the opening invitation, “Living in community, / it's a lot of FUN! / Lets count the ways. / Lets start with ONE,” Nagaro shows an urban community that is multicultural, supportive, and happy—exactly like the neighborhoods that many families choose to live and raise their children in. Text on every other page rhymes unobtrusively. Unlike the vocabulary found in A Is for Activist (2013), this book’s is entirely age-appropriate (though some parents might not agree that picketing is a way to show “that we care”). In A Is for Activist, a cat was hidden on each page; this time, finding the duck is the game. Counting is almost peripheral to the message. On the page with “Seven bikes and scooters and helmets to share,” identifying toys in an artistic heap is confusing. There is only one helmet for five toys, unless you count the second helmet worn by the girl riding a scooter—but then there are eight items, not seven. Seven helmets and seven toys would have been clearer. That quibble aside, Nagara's graphic design skills are evident, with deep colors, interesting angles, and strong lines, in a mix of digital collage and ink.

Ideal for any community where children count. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-632-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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