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

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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A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot.

WHERE'S THE LADYBUG?

Little ones learn about bugs.

The world of insects and like small creatures is the focus of this sturdy board book. Each turn of the page gives readers a close view of a particular habitat. The text asks, “Where’s the ladybug?” or “Where’s the snail?” and little ones are encouraged to find the creatures under shaped felt flaps. A caterpillar poses under a leaf with a few bites taken out of it; a bumblebee flies behind a pink tulip. The flaps are made of a reasonably strong material, secured tightly within the book’s pages. Extremely determined readers may figure out a way to pull the flaps out, but most will enjoy flipping them up and over with ease. The last page of the book contains a mirror hidden behind a bush-shaped flap, and readers are asked “And where are you?” The insects smile with big eyes and are composed of large, circular, clean-edged shapes. The color palette is dulled, making the neon flaps pop effectively for little readers. Concurrently publishing companion Where’s the Giraffe? explores the world of jungle animals.

A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9335-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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An excellent bedtime storybook.

GOOD NIGHT, MY DARLING BABY

From the New Books for Newborns series

Little animals bed down for the night.

The sun has set, the stars are out, and the moon has risen. The time has come for the barnyard animals to go to sleep. “Daddy cow” (best not to interrogate this too closely), “mama sheep,” “papa horse,” and more softly sing to their little ones as they nuzzle up and drift off. The animals’ signature sounds are included in their lyrics: “Moo, moo, moo, moo… / Sweet dreams, my darling baby,” croons daddy cow. The book ends with the interracial, evidently heterosexual (mom white, dad brown) farmer couple putting their own baby to sleep. The illustrations are colored with warm greens, blues, and yellows, lulling little readers to snuggle with their own caregivers. This is an ideal bedtime story for reluctant sleepers, well suited to end a long bedtime story session. The equal representation of both mothers and fathers is quite refreshing in a subgenre that seems to feature mostly moms. The singing is a nice touch, and caregivers will think about inducing their own little ones to sing repetitive lullabies that will pave the way for their own bedtimes.

An excellent bedtime storybook. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8119-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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