Although the book’s production quality leaves something to be desired, toddlers will adore helping out their new animal...




A collection of needy pets “all feel better” with a little help from their child reader friends.

It’s a rough day to be a pet! There’s an animal in mild crisis on each double-page spread. Poor kitty’s yarn is a total mess. But never fear! Youngsters are told exactly how to touch the page (“swirl the yarn to wind it”), and with a gratifying lift of the flap, the kitten is now snuggling a “nice and neat” ball of wool. A direct address from the pet praising readers for the assistance that “saved the day!” taps perfectly into a toddler’s deep desire to help. Among the instructions are a wide variety of ways to interact with pages, and while some, such as “open,” and “push,” will be familiar, others such as “pat” and “pinch” may build vocabulary. (These activities are mostly imaginary, as the physical interactions are confined to lifting flaps.) With their sketchily drawn bodies, the cartoonlike pets aren’t the cutest critters on the block, but it’s a genuine pleasure to watch pleading eyes and drooping bodies transform into perky, effervescent animals. If the concept is a sweet surprise, the book itself is not. The dots of its halftone printing are distractingly apparent, and several of the curved, not-particularly-substantial flaps catch and crease. Additionally, flaps and backgrounds share the same deeply saturated colors, making the flaps’ edges frustratingly difficult to find.

Although the book’s production quality leaves something to be desired, toddlers will adore helping out their new animal buddies. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0939-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A happily multisensory exploration.


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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