A clever concept is marred by a hasty, ill-considered ending.

READ REVIEW

HOORAY FOR LITTLE FINGERS!

In this concept book introducing the numbers one to 10, little fingers are invited to participate in the counting.

Five round die cuts on the cover—just the size for a handful of fingers to poke through—set the tone in this French import. Young readers are encouraged to place a finger through a hole on an elephant’s face to make its trunk: “1 little finger…tickles your nose!” As the numbers progress, children can put two fingers through the die cuts to make a crab’s claws and “pinch, pinch”; three fingers can be a ladybug’s right feet and “climb up, up, up”; four fingers can be a monkey’s extremities and “do a silly dance”; and five little fingers at the tips of a star make it look like they “twinkle, twinkle just for you.” Up to this point the book works well, but then it rushes to an unsatisfying end. After little ones count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 little fingers…” on verso, they then count a further “and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 more!” on recto, which feels as though they’ve been asked to add 5 + 5—math beyond their years. A sixth die cut is also there: “Oh, what’s this?” Children will wonder how they can find an 11th finger. As readers turn the page they will find two hands with 10 splayed little fingers and a “wiggly, wiggly caterpillar!” creeping up the right wrist.

A clever concept is marred by a hasty, ill-considered ending. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-2-40801-612-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.

CRUNCH! MUNCH! BUNNY

Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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