Pictures of baby animals are complemented by tactile elements in this interactive board book.
Unfortunately, board books need more than cute animal pictures and tactile elements to stand out. They should be durable, engaging, and original. This meets none of these criteria. Five of the stock photos are enhanced by inserted fur of various textures, which strains the strength of the glued pages and creates bumpy surfaces on the back side. Another five pictures are merely embellished with foil or glitter. A sound each animal makes is included, though only the most engaged adult readers will comfortably make “ooh ooh ooh ooh” sound like a chimpanzee. Saying that penguin chicks make a “cheep cheep” sound may confuse young children, who usually associate that sound with baby chickens. Actually, depending on the situation and species, penguins make sounds described as squeaks, yelps, or whistles. Curiously, the one bit of scientific accuracy, a reference to the baby rabbit as a “rabbit kitten,” is jarring in the middle of all this cuteness. Only the inclusion of a tractor and barn distinguish companion title Farm.
Even for babies, the animal world should not be reduced to one image, one sound, and one texture per creature. Nature is not so simple or so dull. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)