A pleasant interactive outing.

BEDTIME

From the Follow Me series

Little Ted prepares for bed.

Ted, an anthropomorphic brown bear in red T-shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers, recaps his day and gets ready for bed in this interactive board book. The narration encourages little readers to trace their fingers along a path carved through each double-page spread. The story begins outside as Ted is called in by his mother, continues through the kitchen, up the stairs, into a bath, and on to bed. The paths, created by gluing painted scenes with die-cut trails onto the board pages, are deep enough that little ones will be able to trace the way with ease and cover enough ground via squiggles and turns to make it worthwhile. Each scene is accompanied by an aabb quartet that guides readers. For example, “Ted races out into the hall / He runs so fast he almost falls. / With your finger take a lot of care / to help Ted reach the top of the stairs” accompanies a path that zigzags sharply up the stairs. The busy illustrations and bright colors won’t do much to lull a child to sleep, despite the bedtime theme. Companion title Animal Faces publishes concurrently and uses the same finger-tracing technique to draw emotions on animals, such as a frown face on a “sad pig” or a furrowed brow on a “worried bear.”

A pleasant interactive outing. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0267-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A sweet but not essential book.

BALL

From the Baby Unplugged series

A whole host of children presents a whole host of balls in this new installment in the Baby Unplugged series.

There are so many kinds of balls in this little board book. Big ball, shiny ball, game ball, plain ball, spot ball. And not all are necessarily balls. Some are round objects, like the snowball and the clay ball or the blueberry that is a “tiny ball.” Some balls are verb balls, like the “throw ball, / catch ball, / go ball, / fetch ball!” There is even a gotcha! ball that’s “not ball”—it’s a cube! And all these balls are being played with by an equally eclectic group of children. African-American, Asian, brown-skinned, and blond and brunette white children are all represented here in illustrations that are charming and clear but not particularly artful. It feels as though both author and illustrator are trying so hard to include so much that they’ve almost forgotten to have fun. It’s reminiscent of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish but without the spark that turns an OK book into a timeless classic. Best suited for young children who are already quite verbal.

A sweet but not essential book. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-936669-42-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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SNACK TIME

From the Noah's Park series , Vol. 3

Six little animal babies spend the day at Noah’s Park.

A baby dog, bear, cat, panda, pig, and snail in colorful onesies and overalls are planning a day in Noah’s Park. As they all sit or stand in a group looking out at readers, the unrelated text above them says “Explore, swing, dance, and jump….” A gatefold flap—which is always a crowd-pleaser with toddlers—reveals they’ve decided to sail away. They put on their life jackets, pack a snack, and off they go. The sweet-looking, cartoony animals board a pink-and-blue–checkered boat, from which they see ducks and ducklings bobbing to and fro. They take a break, feed the ducks, have their own snack, and sail back home. There really is not much action in the book, as the animals just sit or stand around, in spite of the action indicated at the beginning. Even at the end when the text says, “Let’s clean up and sing a god-bye tune,” they are just standing in the boat looking out at the ducks. Hopefully, real toddlers will have more engaging days than the one depicted in this board book.

Sweet but dull. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4263-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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