An attractive book-and-puzzle package.

READ REVIEW

ABC PUZZLE AND BOOK

From the My First Puzzle Set series

Photographs illustrate both the paperback alphabet book and 30-piece puzzle in this novelty set.

In the book, upper- and lowercase letters appear at the center of most pages, surrounded by square panels showing photos of objects, actions and feelings that start with the letter in question. The A page presents apple, asleep, ant, airplane, alligator and abacus with basic captions. The text engages readers in a simple question-and-answer format, usually in the “How many?” or “What color?” vein. Toward the end of the alphabet, some of the letters, such as U, V and X, Y, Z, share pages as initial letter sounds become scarce. As concept books go, this offering is nothing new, but the photos are vibrant, and the text is engaging. The accompanying 16-inch-square jigsaw puzzle uses a selection of the same photos found in the book, with one picture per letter nicely spaced on a white background. Each photo is clearly captioned, and the entire alphabet, both upper- and lowercase letters, runs across the top and bottom of the puzzle. The pieces may prove difficult for little ones, but children at the upper end of the age range should be able to accomplish it. For those looking for an extra challenge, the flipside of the puzzle presents the alphabet on a green background with subtle polka dots in a lighter shade.

An attractive book-and-puzzle package. (Novelty set. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-632-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard.

THE WIND PLAYS TRICKS

When a fierce wind descends on the barnyard, the animals hear some odd noises…and they’re coming from their own mouths.

The sudden wind unsettles all the animals on the farm just when they should be getting ready for sleep. Instead, they anxiously “cheep” and “cluck” and “oink” and “quack” and “moooo.” They shift nervously, pull together, and make all sorts of noises. All except Turtle, who tucks into his shell under an old log and sleeps. In the morning, though, the animals get a surprise. Pig says, “Cluck”; the Little Chicks say, “Neigh”; Horse crows, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” How will they get their proper sounds back? Turtle has an idea, and he enjoys the process so much that he decides to open his mouth the next time the wind plays tricks at the farm: Perhaps he’ll catch a sound all his own. Chua’s cartoon barnyard is bright, and her animals, expressive, their faces and body language slightly anthropomorphized. The edges of the figures sometimes betray their digital origins. Though the tale is humorous and will give lots of opportunity for practicing animal sounds, the audience is hard to pin down, as the young children sure to enjoy mooing and clucking may not have the patience to sit through the somewhat lengthy text.

For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8735-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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