A charming, not-so-simple board book that will surely engage.

FLY!

From the TouchThinkLearn series

A bird embarks on a long journey.

In the first double-page spread, a yellow bird arrives at the foot of a tall tree after what the text calls “a very long journey,” but her story is far from over. As she makes a home in her tree and then a family with a red bird who joins her, this board book explores the circle of life. The book’s illustrations are large and rounded, mostly circles or half-circles, enhancing that “circle of life” theme. The book holds removable play pieces that can be slotted into the compositions in different ways. For example, a round yellow piece symbolizing the sun can be taken, flipped, and inserted into a recess in the picture opposite as the bushy round crown of a tree. Each double-page spread offers at least one removable piece to be fitted into the opposite page; they do not require carrying over into subsequent spreads. The interactive play is a perfect spice to a simple story that will delight little ones. The pieces aren’t dangerously tiny, but some will inevitably make their ways under the couch or become stuck between cushions. Luckily the compositions still work well enough without them.

A charming, not-so-simple board book that will surely engage. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5922-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep.

DEEP SEA DIVE

LIFT-THE-FLAP ADVENTURES

A diver directly recruits his audience to explore the salty sea.

Closed, the shaped cover follows the curve of the diver’s helmet; open, it evokes goggles through which readers can explore the deep. A variety of underwater creatures are revealed through lifting flaps; brief rhyming text on the undersides of the flaps provides a little informational heft. These rhymes are not distinguished by their lyricism, alas. “Jellyfish are pretty— / some glow in the dark. / But don't swim too close— / their sting leaves a mark.” The simply drawn creatures are not depicted to scale. The seahorse dominates its page, while the toothy shark appears shorter than the sea turtle. Two-toned blue backgrounds evoke waves. Space Walk uses an identical format to survey the planets (all eight of them) and is equally superficial.

The sparkly cover and less-than-exciting interactive elements fail to fully convey the majesty of the watery deep. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8525-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.

THE ITSY BITSY PILGRIM

From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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