From the Matching Game series

A large-format board book with sliding, matching-game–style panels featuring things that move on land, sea, and by air.

This one is fodder for young readers who love everything on wheels. As in Babin’s Animals, illustrated by Julie Mercier (2018), this book includes a series of panels that allow for a matching game, wherein four sets of matching pairs are hidden behind sliding windows. The left-hand side of each double-page spread shows brightly-colored cartoon animals riding in or on the vehicles while the game is presented on the right-hand side. Each transportation set includes directives for ways to engage with the book (“Can you name and find all the vehicles that are yellow, red, or green?”), but they vary little from page to page and mostly follow the same predictable format. The “In the Sky” page features some unusual modes of transportation such as a hydroplane and paraglider, likely unfamiliar to younger readers (and not included in the matching game). The book provides opportunities to point to and name items, similar to a picture dictionary. It’s really less book and more game, which, while entertaining, does become repetitive for adults. It’s a good choice for travel and even for keeping little hands busy at a restaurant, because it is really something to play with rather than something to read.

More game than substance. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40801-283-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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The cutesy and busy illustrations, confusing text, and sometimes-delicate tabs keep this from delivering everything it...


If lifting flaps is the goal, the 52 contained in this board book deliver.

A winking red “SPED-X!” truck on the cover promises intriguing treats on the die-cut pages within. On the first spread flaps on a fleet of four trucks reveal the tools of the trade: boxes, packing materials, a dolly, a pallet. Successive pages highlight specific types of cargo. Unfortunately, essential information is sacrificed in favor of rhyming text. For example, “A truck full of rides is the BEST ONE YET!” is identified as a carnival truck only by its clown face. But it does rhyme with the next, equally confusing, line: “But nothing beats the lovable truck that delivers your new PET!” This may have children wondering where the pet-delivery trucks in their neighborhood are. Similarly, a truck described as smelling “sweet” is delivering flowers, not the ice cream most children would assume. A double-page spread of a vehicle carrier is the most intriguing, though the double-cut tabs will quickly tear, and the vehicles revealed offer an odd mix of vocabulary. (What looks like a military jeep is identified as a “clunker”; other tabs hide a “hybrid car” with dangling plug, a personal “watercraft,” and an “ATV.”) Caregivers should heed the back cover’s caution: “HANDLE WITH CARE.”

The cutesy and busy illustrations, confusing text, and sometimes-delicate tabs keep this from delivering everything it promises. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9219-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A blueprint for engaging readers and satisfying their curiosity.


From the What Can You See? series

This board book shows how a new school is built.

Designed for little readers who are curious about the construction process beyond merely vehicles that dig, this book depicts the destruction of a school, the completion of the new one, and much more in between. The text covers everything from safety rules to just how long it can take to construct a new building. There are also engaging questions presented to readers, such as “Can you see a little mouse?” and “Can you find a wheelbarrow down low?” The text is explanatory and includes potentially new vocabulary in a seamless way. The book features “peek-through pages,” as the cover describes it—cutouts that allow readers to see all the way to the end, each page turn revealing more details. While at times the cutouts skew the perspective of the construction site, they are mostly successful. The illustrations include just the right amount of detail, encouraging readers to linger. They depict information that is not stated in the text but that is essential to the story. For example, readers will note the seasons changing from page to page. The site crew features people with varying skin tones and hairstyles and, refreshingly, includes women construction workers.

A blueprint for engaging readers and satisfying their curiosity. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-688-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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