Other, better nursery-rhyme board books abound.

HICKORY, DICKORY, DOCK

A COLLECTION OF NURSERY RHYMES

A digitally illustrated board book presents familiar nursery rhymes to babies and their caregivers.

Like its companion, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, this title features a die cut in its cover. This book’s reveals a gold-metallic clock face, and its companion’s, a silvery star. Such design features are the only notable embellishments in either title, otherwise presenting fairly straightforward reiterations of well-known rhymes. The rhymes included range from the title ditty and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to truncated versions of “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star features bedtime-themed rhymes. The art in both books is flat, cartoonish, and colorful, and it features anthropomorphic creatures—the itsy bitsy spider wears raingear, Jack and Jill are a bunny and a dog, Mary, Mary quite contrary is a little fox in a dress, and so on. Most pictures position the characters peering out directly at readers, but even this technique doesn’t ensure engagement, since background details and setting could be overwhelming or distracting for the youngest, who typically best attend to high-contrast illustrations with minimal or reduced backgrounds.

Other, better nursery-rhyme board books abound. (Board books. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-200-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween.

TEENY TINY GHOST

This board book twists the traditional “Teeny Tiny” tale into a less-scary Halloween treat.

This version uses a singsong-y rhythm and cadence to tell the story. “In the teeny tiny barn / Of a teeny tiny house... / Lived a teeny tiny ghost / and a teeny tiny mouse.” Of course the ghost (being teeny tiny) is not very frightening. “But the determined little ghost / Let her mighty courage through / And with a teeny tiny breath / She said a teeny tiny: boo.” Spoiler alert: After just seven page turns the ghost and mouse become friends: “And now the teeny tinies play / In the teeny tiny house. / Just a teeny tiny ghost / And her best friend, mouse.” Pumpkins decorate the cover and final spread and illustrations throughout are in autumnal hues. The fairly high-for-the-format word count—19 to 21 words per page—may be more than toddlers will sit still for, but the “teeny tiny” repetition and rhymes will help. The size (just 6 inches square) makes using the book with a group a challenge, but with a lap-sitting child, it’ll be a pleasure.

A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31848-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more...

FIVE LITTLE BUNNIES

Following on the successful Five Little Pumpkins (2003), Yaccarino teams with Rabe for bunnies.

The five pastel bunnies are cute enough, and the rhymes are accurate, if somewhat wordy for toddlers. But without a clear one-to-one relationship between the words and the pictures, it is not always clear which bunny is speaking and what is being counted. The bunnies, identified as first, second, and so on, hop around the pages instead of staying in a consistent order as the rhyme implies. Naming them by color might have been a better choice, but that would mean abandoning the finger-play counting-rhyme formula. The children who show up to hunt the eggs are a multicultural cast of cartoonish figures with those in the background drawn as blue and green silhouettes. Though the text on the back cover invites children to count the eggs, there is no hint as to how many eggs they should find. Neither the verse nor the pictures provide counting assistance. The youngest children will not care about any of this; they will be content to point out the different colors of the bunnies and the patterns on the eggs.

An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more satisfying but fragile classic, Pat the Bunny. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-225339-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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