The elegant simplicity of the artwork, content, and format should make this a repeatable favorite for kids and caregivers...



Sturdy, slide-and-see puzzles introduce toddlers to a few favorite animals in this French import.

In a book designed to be operated by rough, young hands, several animal friends hide, more or less, in plain sight. “Who am I?” the cover queries, as two big eyes peer out of a nondescript explosion of yellow, with a few black, ambiguous lines. Pull on the easy-to-grip tab, and two ears, a nose, and a mouth slide up into place, revealing the unmistakable features of a cat whose tail, readers will note slinks around to the book’s back cover. Inside, the front cover’s reverse page sports featureless masses of tan, orange, and brown. The facing page asks, “Hoo, hoo… / Who is awake when night comes?” Pull the tab again: “It’s me, the owl!” The book goes on to present a frog, a bear, a tortoise, a snail, a rabbit, a fox, an elephant, and a duck, each with an appropriate animal sound and one easily assimilated fact per creature. The final image is of an egg, from which a chick hatches when a helping toddler hand slides the page open. There is much here to captivate the youngest readers: interactive tactile activity, animal sounds to replicate, and questions that can all be answered in the repeating format, “It’s me, the frog [or bear, tortoise, snail, etc.].”

The elegant simplicity of the artwork, content, and format should make this a repeatable favorite for kids and caregivers alike. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-40800-435-4

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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For very young children already buggy for bugs. (Board book. 1-3)


From the DR. Books series

There’s plenty of information and instruction crammed into this 5 ½-inch-square board book.

Hutton starts with the opening lines of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” leaving blanks to indicate where readers should fill in key words. Caregivers of toddlers who do not know the song will need to supply the words until their children are familiar enough with it to play the game. On the third page the tone shifts to conversational questioning, providing a model of dialogic reading. The adult reader speaks directly to the child: “Did you just see a bug? What kind of bug was it?…Was it BIG or small? Inside or outside?” The next six pages continue in that vein, providing information in response to the questions. Pages 11 and 12 refer to the rhyme again: “What’s that spider doing? Yes, it’s climbing! Climbing up a water spout! Climbing up a water spout at Grandpa’s house!” This method of repetition and expansion on an idea is excellent practice for beginning readers, but again, toddlers may need time to adjust. The final spread returns to a question likely to engage toddlers, with no practice necessary: “What’s your favorite kind of bug?” Colorful illustrations in shades of blue, green, and brown are only semirealistic; they emphasize a friendly look instead of a creepy one, potentially disappointing for young entomologists fascinated by the real thing.

For very young children already buggy for bugs. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-936669-80-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A gentle underwater excursion.


From the Hello World! series

An ocean-themed entry in the Hello World series.

A white youngster with long hair sporting a swim mask encourages little ones to “Dive in and take a look!” at ocean life. Each double-page spread presents a different marine animal, including whales, dolphins, sharks, an octopus, a crab and a lobster, sea turtles, fish, and jellyfish. Two or three conversationally conveyed facts of interest are included per double-page spread, one of which is usually in a smaller type and marked with an asterisk for obscure reasons. “What’s that? It’s a sea horse? It can quickly change colors to blend with the background, helping it hide from enemies,” reads the larger text in one representative spread, while the text in the smaller font reads, “A sea horse father carries eggs in a pouch until they are ready to hatch.” A trio of children, all of whom have light complexions, build a sand castle on the beach and collect shells to highlight the wide variety of the latter that can be found. McDonald’s jewel-toned art has the look of watercolor and is appropriately watery and accessible. The final pages allow children to reflect on their favorite ocean animal as the art reviews all the creatures depicted.

A gentle underwater excursion. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-57877-2

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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