Hours of amusement for budding Beethovens.



From the Wee Gallery series

Brief but noisy fun in this “press and listen” introduction to musical instruments for tots.

A piano-playing penguin, a trumpet-tooting bear, a twanging tiger with a guitar, and a drum kit–bashing bunny make beautiful music in this charming, interactive board book. This simple primer hits the right notes, featuring four instruments with their corresponding sounds, four types of animals, and a variety of colorfully descriptive musical sound effects—plinks, twangs, and crashes, to name a few. The illustrations are delightful: simple, bold, and kinetic, all creatures invested with abundant personality as they bang away on their respective instruments. The recto of each double-page spread includes a tab containing an easily activated button that, when pressed, plays a few representative bars of music played on the instrument depicted on those pages. The built-in sound feature should fascinate young readers. At the same time, caregivers will no doubt appreciate the small but easy-to-find on/off switch on the back of the book. The final spread shows the animals playing together as a band: “All together now…make some noise!” Unfortunately, the final button merely repeats the instruments individually instead of playing an ensemble song as the title and illustration imply. Despite this missed opportunity to illustrate song composition, this tuneful tome should engage and entertain.

Hours of amusement for budding Beethovens. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68297-210-6

Page Count: 8

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...


This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.


Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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