Cute but no more than serviceable

PEEKABOO BABY ANIMALS

From the Slide and Seek series

Sliding board-book panels illustrate six different animal habitats.

Frost’s colorful, cartoonish critters feature in a guessing game. A question appears on one page: “Who is in the flowerbed, digging up the ground?” In the busy illustration, a rabbit, a cat, or even the worms could be digging. The page opposite each question expands to display the rhymed response and a full image of the heretofor partially hidden animal. (In the garden scene it is a spotted yellow pup.) The sliding pages line up perfectly when closed, but the animals don’t always line up properly when opened. The dolphin seems to be detached from its tail, and the lamb’s back legs connect to its body at an awkward angle. The cadence of the rhymes is sometimes forced, with words chosen because they rhyme, not because they add information. For example, the penguin says, “Cheep cheep cheep!” evidently because “cheep” rhymes with “deep.” Other animals to find include a tiger cub, chick, and bear cub. Initially the sliders are quite stiff but will loosen up with use, but they may not survive the repeated tugs and pulls of inquisitive toddlers. The book’s biggest weakness is that turning the sliding-page design places every other answer on the left instead of the right. This may confuse young children who are just learning that reading (in English) requires looking from left to right.

Cute but no more than serviceable . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-6801-0514-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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