Like much of what’s in real delivery boxes, this is ephemeral—fun for a minute but not essential.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

Large flaps and tactile elements enliven this guessing-game board book.

The organizing premise of this novelty book is the ubiquitous pile of delivery boxes found almost daily on many a porch. Those in this book have tactile elements poking out to hint at what’s inside. Rhyming text on the left poses a question about each box’s contents. Sturdy flaps on the opposite page reveal the rhyming answer and a fantasy character that’s probably recognizable to even young children. Labels on the depicted box and in the illustrations also contain clues. Three flaps are almost as large as the page; two are split, requiring two hands to open. The rhymes are clever, but the wordplay and sophisticated language seem designed to engage adult readers rather than delight toddlers. For example, a label on one box reads, “HANDLE WITH SCARE.” Older preschoolers will easily guess the answers and be ready to move on quickly. Disappointingly, the fuzzy pink blob poking through the cutout on the front cover has no obvious relation to the contents of any of the five boxes in the slight story. Librarians and booksellers will appreciate what’s under the final flap: “A BOOK! Their stories bring us smiles and fun— / the magic of reading for everyone!”

Like much of what’s in real delivery boxes, this is ephemeral—fun for a minute but not essential. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-683-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH

From the My Little World series

A mix of marine-life fact and fiction introduces opposites.

With its iconic shape, the eye-catching cover cutout of a bright-orange fish is instantly appealing. Layered die cuts of decreasing size provide texture and handholds for little fingers and form the bodies of varying species of fish. Information about fish habits and habitats is crammed into wordy rhymes with the opposing terms in boldface, but the accuracy of those facts is debatable. Though it’s fair to call the eel “long and very wiggly,” contrasting it with a generic, short yellow fish that’s a rhyme-forced “giggly” introduces a jarring anthropomorphism. In fact, stereotypical human emotions or motivations are attributed to the fish on almost every page. On another page, the slow fish (the only fish not painted with a smile) says, “Even with a big head start, I knew I'd finish last”—a distressingly defeatist message in an otherwise cheery board book. Inexplicably, the final spread depicts all the fish in party hats—turning it into a birthday book. While this may extend its use in day cares, it doesn't help young children learn opposites.

A fishy tale that doesn't quite swim in the crowded sea of concept books . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-215-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more