A fun choice to promote dexterity and animal recognition.

FARM

A SLIDE AND PLAY BOOK

From the Wee Gallery series

Little fingers can slide three vertical panels to reveal the black-and-white images of common farm animals.

The simple text provides clues as to the identity of the critter in question: “I lay EGGS. / I like to eat CORN. I Say ‘CLUCK.’ / Who am I?” is printed on verso, while on recto, a hen is revealed after the panels are slid into place to complete the “puzzle.” Sajnani’s bold, chunky, and stylized images, which also include a pig, sheep, and cow, are endearing, and pops of yellow in the form of feathers, flowers, birds, and butterflies add interest. In a nice, literacy-boosting touch, the name of each animal is split over panels, so resolving the picture also resolves the word. Jungle, the companion title, sticks to the formula and features a monkey and a snake, among others, with smatterings of rain-forest–green bugs, butterflies, and leaves. The art is equally playful here, but the inclusion of a tiger and a parrot, so iconic in their bright colors, is odd given the black-and-white representation—literal toddlers might take exception. The sliders are a nice innovation, but little ones may require some adult assistance.

A fun choice to promote dexterity and animal recognition. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68297-049-2

Page Count: 8

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep.

DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

A diver directly recruits his audience to explore the salty sea.

Closed, the shaped cover follows the curve of the diver’s helmet; open, it evokes goggles through which readers can explore the deep. A variety of underwater creatures are revealed through lifting flaps; brief rhyming text on the undersides of the flaps provides a little informational heft. These rhymes are not distinguished by their lyricism, alas. “Jellyfish are pretty— / some glow in the dark. / But don't swim too close— / their sting leaves a mark.” The simply drawn creatures are not depicted to scale. The seahorse dominates its page, while the toothy shark appears shorter than the sea turtle. Two-toned blue backgrounds evoke waves. Space Walk uses an identical format to survey the planets (all eight of them) and is equally superficial.

The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8525-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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