No need for a life jacket; all these vessels glide smoothly into port.

BOAT WORKS

From the Giant Fold-Out Book series

When you sail away on these seas, the vessel can be any you choose.

A question-and-answer text combines with the fold-out design to introduce children to maritime terminology. Clean, primary colors catch the eye, and the text is printed entirely in capital letters. The direct, first-person narrative allows the boats to brag about their particular attributes. “What am I? / I have a heavy anchor. / I have portholes. / I'm an ocean liner.” The vocabulary is appropriately accurate (though land-bound toddlers will be unlikely to correctly name the vessels from the clues); “buoy,” “mast” and “oar” are all represented. The fold-out design works well with the construction of the text, each one-panel clue unfolding first up and then over into an impressive spread, though the dramatic pictures will bend quickly (and likely rip) after repeat readings. Lines and silhouettes are clean and high-contrast, lending the book a Modernist energy.

No need for a life jacket; all these vessels glide smoothly into port. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 29, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60905-215-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Clean design and invitations to action will help young builders become readers—expect to find this book in the sand box or...

NOISY NOISY DIGGER

From the My Little World series

This busy board book introduces five colors, five construction vehicles, and five physical movements.

Each spread begins with the same two couplets: “Noisy Yellow Digger meets someone new. / ‘What is your name and what do you do?’ ” An orange crane, green steamroller, blue dump truck, and red bulldozer each reply, “I’ll show you what I do....” Behind a full-page flap, each truck uses simple, first-person language to explain its basic function in relation to the yellow digger. On the opposite side of the now-open flap cheerful construction-worker bears invite child readers to mimic each vehicle’s action. Opening the flap also produces a truck sound that plays briefly. (The book’s speaker is in the rear cover, so readers may need to take care not to muffle it.) A radio appears with all the vehicles on the final spread, and the flap opens to reveal the bears dancing. The sounds seem almost incidental; the book’s strengths are clear, consistent illustrations and repetitive language. For example, the scene changes with each page, but the digger is always the same, and details (a bee, butterfly, or cloud) shown on the closed page can be found in the same place when the flap is opened. Small print on the back cover cautions that the sounds are light-activated, which makes this a poor choice for bedtime.

Clean design and invitations to action will help young builders become readers—expect to find this book in the sand box or on the road rug. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5892-5242-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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This arbitrary collection of things that go really goes nowhere.

THINGS THAT GO VROOM

A BOOK OF VEHICLES

Twenty-four vehicles are each depicted on a single page with one sentence that describes what that vehicle does.

Unfortunately, very few of the vehicles in this board book actually go “vroom.” Instead, a “helicopter zooms through the sky,” and a “ferryboat carries people across a river.” While the level of detail presented is about right for very young children, the creators missed an opportunity to also describe the characteristic sound of each vehicle. Such descriptions would have made this book of motorized conveyances a satisfyingly noisy and interactive reading experience. Mack's greeting-card–cute illustrations are generic to the point of blandness. All the vehicles are driven by racially diverse figures with toylike, identical smiles. The only illustration that shows movement or speed is a view from above of race cars on a track. All the other images are shown from the side, reduced to their essential shapes. Sometimes the scenes shown on facing pages share a skyline, but the roads these vehicles travel on are not connected. On the page with a police car that “whizzes by on a high speed chase,” the car being chased is not even on the same road. The final two-page spread reviews all the vehicles shown earlier.

This arbitrary collection of things that go really goes nowhere. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4114-7589-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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