Better to buy simpler (and cheaper) books and purchase puzzles separately.

READ REVIEW

PETS

A SLIDE AND PLAY BOOK

From the Wee Gallery series

Brief riddles offer hints to solving puzzles embedded in extra-thick board pages.

Each double-page spread consists of a riddle on one page and a puzzle with sliding pieces on the other. When the slotted pieces are moved up and down and arranged in the right order, the animal described on the facing page is revealed. Black-and-white illustrations include just a spot of color on each page (blue in the case of this title; orange for Safari, published simultaneously). Notches indicate where little fingers should be placed, but the task may still challenge young children. Inquisitive youngsters may use the notch to rip out the inserted pieces. There is very little variation in the puzzles. Each book includes just four animals, and each page has only three slides to manipulate. The third puzzle piece must always be slid down to show the name of the animal, written in cursive on the bottom-right corner. After just a few uses, some sliders may become too loose to stay in place, while others may become stuck. Yes, children can learn how to move the sliders, but young readers who are just learning how a book works don't need these complications.

Better to buy simpler (and cheaper) books and purchase puzzles separately. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-60992-915-2

Page Count: 8

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.

CRUNCH! MUNCH! BUNNY

Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book.

MY FIRST PEEK-A-BOO ANIMALS

From the World of Eric Carle series

Little readers play peekaboo with animals.

Carle’s iconic illustrations form the centerpiece of this simple lift-the-flap board book. Each double-page spread features an animal obscured by a flap (a solid block of trademark, textured Carle color) on one side and a four-line abcb stanza describing the animal on the opposite page. Readers are given hints about the hidden creature before they play peekaboo and lift the flap to reveal a monkey, horse, turtle, and more. “I’m a big cat, / but I don’t purr. / I’ve got black stripes / and bright orange fur.” Although most of the facts offered are scientifically valid, the ambiguously worded modifier for the monkey’s clue—“With my long tail, / I swing in the trees”—risks imparting the misinformation that monkeys suspend themselves from their tails. Carle’s illustrations are as recognizable to little readers as the characters on Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the familiarity breeds appreciation. There’s nothing truly special or distinctive regarding the mechanics of this particular title, but the familiar look acts as a comfort food–esque motivation to get little ones’ attention.

A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0105-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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