Crab is a cheerfully cheeky crustacean if a bit uninspiring.

SNAP

From the My Little World series

A playful red crab teases his fellow brightly hued sea creatures in this color concept book.

A red crab “shock[s]” a blue fish, “surprise[s]” a green turtle, and encounters a yellow sea horse. Claw-shaped die cuts appear on each recto in ever decreasing sizes to provide a sensory experience for the youngest readers. This also has the effect of pinning the crab in claws-up position in every scene, with backgrounds and sea flora and fauna changing to provide some compositional variety, and his varied facial expressions also help to make up for this. Scientifically preferred terms, such as pink “sea jelly” (which smiles seraphically) and orange “sea star,” are included in the bland, unevenly scanning rhymed couplets that are meted out on each spread: “Green sea turtle cannot believe her eyes / when crab snap snaps—what a surprise!” The saucy crab finally gets his comeuppance when a gray shark appears on the scene, making the crab scuttle into hiding. The graphically clean imagery features a color palette that is appropriately watery, but the black, sans-serif type is virtually unreadable on a couple of the spreads, when it is set on a dark-blue background.

Crab is a cheerfully cheeky crustacean if a bit uninspiring. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-625-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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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