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

READ REVIEW

ANIMALS

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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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors.

BABY'S FIRST BOOK OF BIRDS & COLORS

Gorgeous birds amid foliage of similar hues introduce eight basic colors.

The two birds presented on each spread not only are of similar coloration, but also live in the same North American habitat. A scarlet tanager and a cardinal, both male, perch in a red maple tree; a male Eastern bluebird and a blue jay appear with morning glories and blueberries. The name of each color is printed in large font, while the name of each bird is in a much smaller one. Whether the bird shown is male or female, or if the male and female have similar coloring, is also indicated. The names of the trees they perch upon are identified in a note on the back cover. These details will be lost on most toddlers, but caregivers will appreciate being able to answer questions knowledgeably. Colors featured are from the standard box of crayons, except that pink is substituted for purple. Black and white share a spread. The cover image, of a cardinal, goldfinch, and bluebird in a birdbath, is not nearly as inviting as the images within. The final spread shows children (one white, one black, one Asian) assembling a puzzle that includes the same birds. This may serve as a reprise but will probably be skipped over. Bird-loving readers will probably feel that the space could have been put to better use by giving white birds their own page or adding a purple martin.

Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-742-6

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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