The cheerful simplicity and sturdy pages ensure that this offering will both see and stand up to hard use until readers are...

HOOT

A HIDE-AND-SEEK BOOK OF COUNTING

From the My Little World series

This simple concept board book combines colors and counting.

In a rhyming game of hide-and-seek, a little blue owl finds four brightly colored friends. When it's his turn to hide, he goes back to sleep. Some of the scansion falters: “Little Blue says to the owls, ‘It's my turn everyone! / Now close your eyes and count to 5— / our play time's almost done.’ ” “Everyone” and “done” technically rhyme, but the rhythm is slightly off. The eye cutouts that begin with the front cover and grow a tiny bit smaller with each turn of the page make convenient finger holes for young children to grasp but become increasingly ineffective as owl eyes as they diminish in size. Consequently, Little Blue looks the most like an owl, while Little Purple looks owlish only because he is the exact same shape as Little Blue. The presentation of concepts is more successful. Little Blue counts just five colors—perfect for a baby's attention span. A graphic on the back cover highlights which developmental skills the book aims to address.

The cheerful simplicity and sturdy pages ensure that this offering will both see and stand up to hard use until readers are ready for Pat Hutchins’ classic Good-night, Owl! (1972). (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58925-595-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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