A rudimentary introduction to a classic skill. Up next: how to dial a phone, play CDs, use a film camera….

WHAT'S THE TIME CLOCKODILE?

From the My Little World series

Hey kids! Learn how to read an analog clock just like your (grand)parents!

A big, round hole cut into the front cover and every subsequent heavy cardboard page reveals a clock face with hours marked in Arabic numerals; the minutes are marked likewise but only by increments of five. The two ratcheted plastic hands can be individually set according to prompts delivered by a bear and the titular crocodile, evidently roommates. They rise in the crowded, flat cartoon illustrations at “7 o’clock” (“If the long hand points straight up to 12, the time is a whole hour,” Clockodile informs the bear). Improbably, they get set to retire at “25 after 7” that night. In between, they catch a bus, paint some pictures (at “half past 9”), eat lunch, swim (at “quarter after 2”) and share dinner. Meanwhile, an inconspicuous printed clock in each scene provides the proper configuration of hands, and a small blue robot helpfully supplies the “digital time” equivalents on a band running along the bottom. Explanations of seconds, minutes other than those divisible by five, Roman numerals and alternative expressions (“nine thirty,” “two fifteen,” etc.) are evidently reserved for another time.

A rudimentary introduction to a classic skill. Up next: how to dial a phone, play CDs, use a film camera…. (Novelty. 3-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-552-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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The flimsy construction and poor art and verse make it ill-suited for older children, too.

CHICK PEA AND THE CHANGING TREES

In this “pull-the-tab book about the seasons,” a chick and a bluebird visit the same tree throughout the year.

Readers pull none-too-sturdy sliding panels to alter the tree’s appearance. In the four internal double-page spreads, autumn leaves fall off the tree, snow covers it, blossoms speckle it, and apples change from green to red in this before-and-after interactive feature. The graphically flat art in springtime colors is rather fussy; the striped backgrounds resembling wallpaper patterns in various muted hues are an odd choice for these outdoor scenes. The rhyming verse, with stilted line breaks, describes the birds’ reactions to the changing seasons: “Chick Pea and Sweet Pea look up and see / new leaves and flowers all over the tree! / But the flowers drop their petals. / They’re starting to fall. / And Chick Pea is trying to / catch them all.” The pull-tab also reveals an additional couplet in which an unseen narrator reassures the critters and gives hints as to what the duo will see next season. While is does not point to any choking hazards, the fine print on the back of the book states that it is “Not suitable for children under 3 years of age.”

The flimsy construction and poor art and verse make it ill-suited for older children, too. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7641-6593-1

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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This story’s got a moral that’s actually true to life.

PIGS IN A PICKLE

Three pigs find themselves trying but not always succeeding in this story of perseverance.

They fall out of boats, spin out of control, and often fall down, but in the end, these “pigs in a pickle know what to do. / They try again—they carry through!” In a tale that combines aspects of “This Little Piggy” and “Humpty Dumpty,” Wilhelm’s rhyming text echoes the childhood classics. Impressively, the story conveys its message about perseverance without ending sappily with a success story. In Wilhelm’s take, when you give it your “best shot,” realistically, “sometimes it works… / …and sometimes it does not.” The piggy who falls off the merry-go-round gets back up and tries again—and again he falls off. What a lesson for little readers! Salcedo’s three pigs each have their own distinctive look: one with large glasses, the second with pigtails, and the third with a round tummy. Each illustration is filled with a lot of movement thanks to well-placed lines, swirls, and squiggles, a necessary inclusion given the copious stumbling, twirling, and falling. There is also a lovely level of detail, from the suits on the playing cards to the tiny hose and ladder on the toy fire truck, though this visual complexity gears this book to the older segment of the board-book audience.

This story’s got a moral that’s actually true to life. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7896-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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