HELLO KITTY SUMMERTIME FUN

MIX 'N MATCH

From the Hello Kitty series

The iconic white cat enjoys the summer season.

Hello Kitty is here to soak up the sun and appreciate all that summertime has to offer in this mix-and-match board book. The book's split pages make it possible for readers to fiddle around with Kitty's outfits, scenery, and activities. It's entirely possible to read the book straight through and witness sensible situations, such as Kitty playing baseball and hitting home runs and dressing up as a bee for the summer parade, but it's better fun to make the character dress up like a bee to hit a home run. The pictures are all on recto, with the text on verso also flipping with the flaps: “Hello Kitty goes swimming / to get some yummy ice cream.” The book's binding is solidly constructed and will certainly stand up to several mix and matches. This one would probably serve well as a travel book for little ones to play with in the car on the way to their own summer adventures.

A cute, serviceable game. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0047-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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