For as long as they last, the amusing gimmicks serve this clever and colorful tale well.

READ REVIEW

RAINBOW CHAMELEON

Leon the chameleon camouflages himself to escape from various predators as he searches for his friend Carmen.

As readers pull tabs on several of the pages, a snake, a wolf and a crocodile appear. The action also causes Leon, whose body is a die-cut hole, to cleverly change color to match his surroundings with a sliding panel that slots the background hue and pattern into place, with only Leon’s yellow eye still visible. When Leon calls out to Carmen and expresses his love for her, the object of his affection blushes to a bright shade of pink (even though the text claims she turns red) so he can spot her. The duo finds a rainbow and plays the “rainbow colors game,” each changing to match the shades of the spectrum, which is effected with a spin dial. The cleverest moment occurs on the back cover when a chameleon develops vertical, black stripes to match the barcode. The simple, repetitive text clearly explains the action. While the pull-tabs and spin dials work smoothly when new, they are not likely to survive robust play since the pages are thinner-than-normal board-book stock.

For as long as they last, the amusing gimmicks serve this clever and colorful tale well. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-988-8240-59-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Minedition

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH

From the My Little World series

A mix of marine-life fact and fiction introduces opposites.

With its iconic shape, the eye-catching cover cutout of a bright-orange fish is instantly appealing. Layered die cuts of decreasing size provide texture and handholds for little fingers and form the bodies of varying species of fish. Information about fish habits and habitats is crammed into wordy rhymes with the opposing terms in boldface, but the accuracy of those facts is debatable. Though it’s fair to call the eel “long and very wiggly,” contrasting it with a generic, short yellow fish that’s a rhyme-forced “giggly” introduces a jarring anthropomorphism. In fact, stereotypical human emotions or motivations are attributed to the fish on almost every page. On another page, the slow fish (the only fish not painted with a smile) says, “Even with a big head start, I knew I'd finish last”—a distressingly defeatist message in an otherwise cheery board book. Inexplicably, the final spread depicts all the fish in party hats—turning it into a birthday book. While this may extend its use in day cares, it doesn't help young children learn opposites.

A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-215-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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