The appealing topic combined with easy-to-operate pull tabs and sliders will make this a toddler favorite.

KNIGHTS' CASTLE

From the Bizzy Bear series

Bizzy Bear learns what it’s like to be a knight as he visits a castle to try his paw at jousting.

This chunky board title features cute Bizzy Bear, and short, simple rhymes tell the story of his day at a castle. Bizzy begins by donning some armor: “Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, here to be a knight. / Bizzy Bear, Bizzy Bear, fits just right!” Readers can help Bizzy by sliding the helmet’s visor up and down with an easy-to-grip tab. Additional tabs on subsequent pages allow little hands to help Bizzy as he brandishes a sword and wins a jousting contest. On the final double-page spread, he is pictured with a trophy, surrounded by friends and enjoying a spectacular feast. The illustrations are vivid and engaging, the storyline appropriately simple, and the interactive features both well-designed and well-constructed. In companion volume Zookeeper, the sliders and tabs enable youngsters to interact with various zoo animals. For example, an easy up-and-down motion makes a crocodile chomp, and the spin of a wheel makes some hungry penguins swim after their fish dinner. The busyness of the illustrations gear both books to toddlers.

The appealing topic combined with easy-to-operate pull tabs and sliders will make this a toddler favorite. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7602-5

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep.

DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

A diver directly recruits his audience to explore the salty sea.

Closed, the shaped cover follows the curve of the diver’s helmet; open, it evokes goggles through which readers can explore the deep. A variety of underwater creatures are revealed through lifting flaps; brief rhyming text on the undersides of the flaps provides a little informational heft. These rhymes are not distinguished by their lyricism, alas. “Jellyfish are pretty— / some glow in the dark. / But don't swim too close— / their sting leaves a mark.” The simply drawn creatures are not depicted to scale. The seahorse dominates its page, while the toothy shark appears shorter than the sea turtle. Two-toned blue backgrounds evoke waves. Space Walk uses an identical format to survey the planets (all eight of them) and is equally superficial.

The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8525-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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