Similar galleries with better sound tracks abound—but a (probable) flub at the end allows some extra interactivity.


Pictures of animals clustering in a variety of characteristic settings offer toddlers chances to identify one by sight and another (with the push of a button) by sound on each spread.

Kim poses six to 10 smiling, infantilized animals with dot eyes and rounded foreheads in each of eight appropriate locales, beginning with livestock in a farmyard and going on to house pets in a domestic interior, a variety of “Mountain Animals” (including a rescue Saint Bernard with a cask of spirits) on piney slopes, and meerkats and more on an African plain—occasionally with children or other members of an all-white human cast in attendance. Along with visual cues to prompt picking out a particular animal from each group, a repetitive instruction (“PRESS THE BUTTON”) directs attention to eight pictorial buttons on the audio panel mounted next to the block of sturdy board leaves to help in spotting another. Though the lion just emits a dispirited grumble and the wolf sounds startlingly ghostly, the calls at least faintly resemble natural ones. Confusingly, there is no “tiger” button to go with the prompt on the final page…leaving it, deliberately or otherwise, to caregivers to chime in with a live roar. The audio panel, which includes three replaceable button batteries, does not have an on/off switch.

Similar galleries with better sound tracks abound—but a (probable) flub at the end allows some extra interactivity. (Novelty/board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-7338-6741-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A clever conceit but a bland execution.


In this minimalist Australian import, readers are encouraged to guess animals based on select written and visual clues.

On each recto, readers see the hindquarters of an animal, and three simple clues ask them to guess what kind of animal they may belong to. “I have long furry ears and a small nose. / I live in a burrow in the ground. / I have a white fluffy tail. / I AM A….” The splashy watercolor rear legs and tail are ambiguous enough that they may have readers second-guessing the obvious answer. Turning the page, however, readers discover both the well-defined front half of the animal and the animal’s name: “RABBIT.” Canty uses stock 19th-century animal illustrations layered with watercolor enhancements, creating a somber yet surprising tone. Two tailless animals, a frog and human readers, are included in the roster, making the “tails” referenced in the title symbolic rather than literal. Two red herrings, the image of a mouse between the clues for and image of an elephant and (inexplicably) a squirrel leading to a giraffe, fall flat, with no other cues to young readers that they are jokes. The quirky illustrations, earthy colors, and lack of exhibited enthusiasm will make this book’s audience a niche one. There is no backmatter.

A clever conceit but a bland execution. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0033-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A fun, new take on droppings.


Youngsters can learn about where and how various animals, domestic and wild, relieve themselves.

Via a pull-tab embedded in each recto (not, thankfully, in the rectum) readers can see the before and after, and a goldfish in a bowl leaves a trail while swimming. The verso asks each creature where it does its business, and then a (sometimes-forced) rhyming quatrain, translated from Italian, answers the question: “And where do YOU poop, mouse? / When inside my tummy / Starts to feel not so good / It’s time for a poop / On these chips made of wood!” The final double-page spread queries readers: “And where do YOU poop?” A redheaded, White toddler’s face is visible below this question; the pull-tab on the right opens a bathroom to reveal a White toddler, this time with medium brown hair, happily and modestly sitting on a blue toddler potty. The accompanying quatrain provides some developmentally appropriate guidance for feeling the signs of a movement coming on. Baruzzi’s art is droll and graphically clean (inasmuch as the depiction of excrement can be described that way). Little fingers may need some help finding the relatively easy-to-open and sturdy pull-tabs, since they blend into each page. It works as both a biology lesson and potty-training encouragement.  

A fun, new take on droppings. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66265-042-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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