The tactile elements, engaging visuals, and provocative word clusters offer a rewarding experience for adults and tots alike.

READ REVIEW

VEHICLES

From the TouchThinkLearn series

Different types of vehicles are introduced using tactile images paired with word clusters.

Each double-page spread highlights a certain type of vehicle, with raised images on the left-hand pages fitting into matching indentations on the right. For example, on the “Train” spread, readers see a curving set of train tracks recessed into the thick board pages on the right, paired with the raised image of a train on the left. The illustrations are simple, colorful, and appealing, and the textures and word clusters invite exploration. The word cluster for the aforementioned spread includes several nouns separated by small gray dots (locomotive, tracks, caboose, passenger car, curve, windows, and roof) as well as a couple of participles in italics (chugging, rolling). The indentations and raised images aren’t always an exact match, and this just adds to the fun of discovery. On the spaceship spread, the image of a large crescent moon is recessed into the right-hand page, while the left features a raised spaceship (which fits into the space carved out by the moon but doesn’t fill it entirely). Companion title Farm follows a similar format, highlighting adorable farm animals and providing related words to spark conversation.

The tactile elements, engaging visuals, and provocative word clusters offer a rewarding experience for adults and tots alike. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4516-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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