FIREMAN SMALL TO THE RESCUE

Fireman Small To The Rescue ($4.95; Mar. 1998; 14 pp.; 0-395-88122-6): When the alarm sounds, Fireman Small responds quickly. There’s a fire in Farmer Pig’s barn, and it’s up to the tiny fireman to put it out. The farm animals (including a crocodile in purple overalls) are terrified, but the courageous fireman quells the blaze. After a hard day’s work, Fireman Small snuggles into his cozy bed at the fire station. This book provide tidbits of information about the civic duties of firefighters, just right for toddlers wondering what a siren means. And Fireman Small, resembling nothing so much as a busy jellybean, makes a perfect vicarious hero for preschoolers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-395-88122-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1998

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Endearingly playful.

BABY ANIMALS

From the My First Interactive Board Book series

Little fingers can make young critters grow and play by sliding relatively-sturdy tabs and panels.

On the cover, a lion cub grows into an adult male lion with a full mane and a tuft at the end of his tail with a right swipe of a tab. Most of the internal pages follow a similar pattern. First, readers are introduced to each baby animal’s home or environment on the verso; the interactive feature appears on the recto, often with a finger-sized hole in the panel for ease of sliding, with a sentence of descriptive text floating above it. The cleverest gimmick is a nested double panel that pulls out from the right-hand page so a young snake can grow longer. The final double-page spread, which reviews what has come before and introduces brand-new concepts, includes four flaps and four panels with simple queries and captions. A companion title, On the Farm, illustrated by Mélanie Combes, is formatted identically and introduces youngsters to chickens, pigs, and more. Readers can shear the wool off a sheep with a single swipe. Some of the features are a bit more subtle, as the panel to make a cow chew her cud only makes the grass in her mouth (which is not a cud) wiggle a tiny bit. The art of both offerings is similar even though it is by two different creators, employing soft tones and rounded lines to create big-eyed, friendly creatures.

Endearingly playful. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-7338-5915-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Auzou Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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This book has virtually nothing going for it.

POLAR BEAR ROMP!

A polar bear looks for a friend.

None of the arctic foxes want to play with Teddy the polar bear. He tries searching underwater for a friend, to no avail. He doesn’t find one until he hears the splashing of a creature that’s fallen through the ice, which he somehow knows just from the sound is a female—perhaps it was a feminine splash? Teddy jumps to the rescue, and the book comes to a fairly perfunctory end. The big draw are the sliding tabs that open and close Teddy’s jaws on each spread. Little readers can make Teddy talk, cry, chomp, and smile. In a design flaw that must be unintended, Teddy’s gaping mouth unsettlingly frames the unfortunate polar bear who’s fallen through the ice, causing little readers to think perhaps that he is eating her. The sliding panels are more durable than most, but children with a habit of destroying flaps and tabs in board books will slowly wear these out as well. The illustrations are bland, with a white, gray, and blue color scheme that makes every page feel a bit ho-hum. The text is devoid of rhyme or flourish, plainly describing the events as they unfold with little flair. Feminist readers will grind their own teeth at the hoary damsel-in-distress plotline.

This book has virtually nothing going for it. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0345-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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