With this masterful board book, little listeners are in for some smooth sailing.



Intrepid Little Boat encounters pint-sized obstacles before returning safely to his family.

Here’s an author who understands how much bravery it takes to be little in a big world. Little Boat floats through mild perils that will feel quite familiar to most toddlers: a crowded shipping lane where he fears being bumped, a frightening run-in with a much bigger freighter, concern about a scary storm, and loneliness. Little Boat’s anxiety is apparent, as he’s pictured teeny-tiny against the waves, but the clouds are so sweet-faced and the waters so gently rolling that it’s clear there’s no real danger. After he successfully navigates the challenges, Little Boat’s parents congratulate him on his brave solo expedition, and toddlers will similarly bask in his feeling of accomplishment. Although the small ship is ostensibly on his journey alone, he’s gently advised and reassured by a narrator who makes sure everyone, including the audience, knows that “Little Boat is fine!” The spare art is expressive in its simplicity, with ships made of basic shapes, rustically outlined and perfectly personified with paint-dabbed faces, all set against a tonally pleasing palette of blue, teal, and rose. Our hero’s white hull, jaunty triangular flag, and blush-pink–dotted cheek are both easily spotted and eminently charming.

With this masterful board book, little listeners are in for some smooth sailing. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6301-7

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A happily multisensory exploration.


From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike.


From the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood series

Animated PBS character Daniel Tiger helps readers tell time.

Mr. Rogers–like (explicitly—the show is produced by the Fred Rogers Co.), Daniel Tiger welcomes his neighbors, inviting them to spend the day with him and learn to use a clock along the way. A large clock face with movable hands is accessible through a large, die-cut circle in the upper-right corner of each double-page spread. The hands click and clack as they’re moved around the clock’s face, and the sound is peculiarly satisfying. Each hand has a different noise, helping children to differentiate between the two. Daniel and his family and friends do lots of things throughout the day, including eating breakfast, going to school, running errands, eating dinner, and going to bed. The illustrations emulate the show’s rounded, calmly colored style. Fans of the television show will be entranced. Daniel’s constant engagement with readers will spawn busy interaction, and the fact that this book covers a whole day makes it an excellent read right before bed.

A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6934-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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