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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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.

MY FIRST BUSY BOOK

From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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