A child as bored as Pixie may read this once.

BEACHY AND ME

In rhyming text, the diminutive, blonde, pink-faced Pixie Picklespeare befriends a whale named Beachy.

The book begins with a colorful, gently humorous, double-page map of tiny Pixie’s Island “and surrounding ocean environs.” The layout and the retro art are reminiscent of the board game Candyland—especially at Great Candy Cane Coral Reef. The charm ends there. Pages of garish cartoons and vacuous verse tell the tale of Pixie’s boredom, all alone inside her lighthouse, until a loud burp leads her outside. The blue creature who has been beached on her island says, “Oh dear, this must look rather odd— / quite anything but peachy. / Apparently, I’ve washed ashore. / Hello—my name is Beachy!” There follows a simultaneous succession of 10 similar images of Pixie trying to push the behemoth back into the sea, which does not work. The tide conveniently rescues Beachy, who promises to be Pixie’s “ocean playtime guide.” The two cavort through the ocean during the summer, becoming “a wet ’n’ wild odd couple!” (Exclamation points are intrusively frequent.) Then Beachy admits the hard news to Pixie that he must migrate to be with other whales. Pixie is back to moping inside her lighthouse. Will he return next summer? A few more pages of singsong rhymes and less-than-inspired art lead to the expected conclusion.

A child as bored as Pixie may read this once. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-37314-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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: April 15, 2021

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