All in all, a simple and satisfying multisensory experience.

FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel series

A touch-and-feel book presents farm babies.

Photos of a flock of ducklings, a foal, a puppy, a piglet and a lamb each appear on the right-hand page of a book sporting a substantially sized swatch of fabric for little ones to explore in an appropriate texture. On the facing page over a black background, the animals list their basic characteristics. The critters then share their iconic noises via speech bubbles. “I am very woolly and frisky and I say / ‘baaa...baaa...baaa.’ ” While this offering is nothing new, and the touch-and-feel elements are not particularly varied, the photos of each creature are crystal clear and pleasingly fill the page. Pets, another title in the series, follows a nearly identical format right down to the die-cut hole on the cover, but in this title, such animals as a puppy, a parrot and a kitten are in the spotlight. With the bunny and lizard, the text calls attention to how the animals move (hopping and wriggling), which provides some nice variety from perennial animal-noise fare.

All in all, a simple and satisfying multisensory experience. (Board book. 3 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-634-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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