Gentle, atmospheric, and lovely.

WHERE GO THE BOATS?

This Robert Louis Stevenson poem is brought to life on pages that fold out rather than turn.

On the cover, a White-presenting child with short, light-brown hair sets a toy sailboat adrift on a river. The book’s pages then open up left to right to reveal an expanding scene of the riverbank, with several more of these toy boats sailing down the water. Two to four lines of Stevenson’s verse are shared in white type on each page. As the book unfolds readers see more of the scene, including a frog eyeing its insect dinner flying overhead, a deer gazing at the water, and the silhouettes of a baseball-cap–wearing grown-up fishing with a child who’s admiring the boats. Sheban’s soft, golden-hour–lit art, in what looks to be watercolor and pastel or pencil, matches the mood of the poem perfectly. While the unusual binding is a brilliant idea that allows the structure of the book to emulate a meandering river, it may prove slightly unwieldy for lap reading, as, when extended, it is more than 3 feet long. The scene is completed with a view of another White child, this one with long hair, retrieving one of the toy boats. The content of Stevenson’s poem may float over the heads of the youngest readers, but the language is gorgeously sonorous, and the art and format do a wonderful job of creating an immersive experience.

Gentle, atmospheric, and lovely. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-56846-352-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a...

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

Cabrera continues to adapt nursery rhymes and children’s songs (Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, 2010, etc.) into interactive picture books for the young preschool set, here taking on that beloved bus ride.

Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a menagerie of African animals ranging from the common lion and zebra to lesser-known flamingos and bush babies. Most animals make a trio of sounds, like the monkeys’ “Chatter, chatter, chatter” or the hyena’s “Ha, ho, hee,” but on occasion there is action: The chameleon “plays Hide-and-seek.” The tale ends as the giraffe driver delivers the wild riders to a watering hole with a satisfying “SPLISH! SPLASH! SPLOSH! All day long!” Readers will enjoy the journey Cabrera illustrates with her easily recognizable style—bright hues outlined in black, with a finger-paint–like texture.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2350-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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