This farm book doesn’t make it to the top of the haystack.

READ REVIEW

A DAY AT THE FARM

Three cute Caucasian kids pull on their brightly colored rain boots and head to the car for a trip to the farm with Mom and Dad.

As well as identifying all the buildings and different parts of the farm, the kids get to hang out with the animals, feeding ducks and chickens, collecting eggs, picking tomatoes, milking the cow, picking fruit, petting a donkey, playing in the hay, driving a tractor and stopping for a relaxing country picnic. The brightly colored pages illustrating their inevitable adventures (stepping in the muck; being chased by a goat) are interspersed with cleanly drawn vocabulary pages showing pond animals and plants, fruits, vegetables, crops and farm machinery. Neatly done, although not outstanding among the vast number of picture books with similar intent, this picture book feels a bit like paint by numbers, and some parents may be prone to an extra yawn or two at bedtime. However, the flat, bright colors and clear, readable text will be attractive to the very young. Parents and children will like the board book’s rounded corners. Folks in rural areas should be aware that one picture shows a child sitting on an untacked pony’s back.

This farm book doesn’t make it to the top of the haystack. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-926973-76-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)

QUIET!

From the Child's Play Library series

This picture book’s title belies its gently noisy contents.

The first-person text follows a child with light-brown skin and a mop of dark curly hair who takes readers throughout the family home and listens to all of the sounds therein. Neither text nor art provides a definite gender designation for the toddler, though a father and baby brother who share the same hair color and texture are identified as male. Race is similarly left ambiguous, with skin tones varying from page to page and no clear statement to specify race or ethnicity in the text. What is clear is that this child is comfortable and secure in Dad’s loving care and with the gentle companionship of a pet dog and cat in addition to the baby brother. Brightly colored interior scenes, together with occasional spreads with a minimal background that set objects and characters against the white of the page, invite readers to observe the many objects throughout the comfortable, spacious home, which are accompanied by sound effects. “Drip” goes a faucet, “Tingaling” rings a cat toy, “La La La La” sings Dad in a lullaby. And at book’s end, the titular quiet descends as the child drifts off to sleep. Throughout, appealing illustrations work with conversational, onomatopoeic text to engage readers in the tradition of historical “here and now” picture books.

Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-887-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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