Saturday, August 19, 2017

Board book: Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey Diddle Diddle (Sing Along With Me) Yu-Hsuan Huang. 2017. Candlewick Press. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon.

Premise/plot: What you should know about this book: a) It's a board book; b) it's an interactive board book; c) there is at least one interactive element per spread (and the cover is even interactive); d) it features the words of the traditional song; e) includes a downloadable song.


My thoughts: I have always been fond of "Hey Diddle Diddle." It is one of my favorite songs to sing with little ones. So I was excited to see this interactive board book. The pages are super-sturdy. Most of the interactive elements work easily. On the cover, little ones can "help" the cow jump over the moon. On the first spread, little ones can "help" the cat play the fiddle. That one is my personal favorite.

There was one page where the interactive element was very, very stiff and almost impossible to maneuver. But that could just be my own copy. It was the page where "the little dog laughed to see such fun." Speaking of which, I will stand by the fact that it should be "the little dog laughed to see such a sight." So maybe this book isn't perfectly-perfect.



© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Friday, August 18, 2017

Board Book: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Sing Along with Me) Yu-Husan Huang. 2017. Candlewick. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Happy birthday to you!

Premise/plot: What you should know about this book: a) It's a board book; b) it's an interactive board book; c) there is at least one interactive element per spread (and the cover is even interactive); d) it features the words of the traditional song; e) includes a downloadable song.

My thoughts: This is a sturdy board book. I like the interactive elements. I really like that the interactive elements look durable and work easily. I have reviewed interactive books in the past that were not durable at all, or that were difficult to maneuver. If it's tricky for adults to work, then little ones surely will have trouble as well. The animals in this one are cute.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Board book: Sleepy Toes

Sleepy Toes. Kelli McNeil. Illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld. 2017. Scholastic. 26 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Are your toes getting sleepy? So very, very sleepy? All day long they wiggle along--wiggly, wobbly toes. And now it's time to get some rest, so tomorrow we can be our best. Is your tummy getting sleepy? So very, very sleepy? All day long it gurgles along--giggly, gurgly tummy. And now it's time to turn off the light. Rest, little tummy, all is right.

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one: a) it is a board book; b) it has a padded cover; c) it is a bedtime book; d) it stars six different children; e) it is a rhyming book.

My thoughts: Do you ever judge a book by its cover? Be honest. I didn't expect to like this one much. It looked dinky to me. I was wrong; I admit it. I did like it. I haven't decided if I "really like it" or if I maybe "love" it. But I'd easily recommend it.

It features six children--a mix of girls and boys. Most are white, I'll be honest. But it looks like one at least has a darker complexion.

The book definitely follows a pattern: Are your/Is your [insert body part] getting sleepy? So very, very sleepy? All day long they/it [fill in the blank with rhyming words]. And now it's time to....[more rhyming words.] Even the illustrations seemed to follow a pattern. Each child either had an actual PET (cat, dog) OR a beloved stuffed animal that "helped" them get ready for bed.

The rhythm of the rhymes worked for me for the most part.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Board book: Where's the Ladybug?

Where's the Ladybug? Ingela P. Arrhenius. 2017. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Where's the caterpillar? Here it is! Where's the bee? Here it is! Where's the snail? Here it is!

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one: a) It is a board book; b) it is an interactive book featuring felt flaps so you can play peek-a-boo with the characters in the book; c) the final spread includes a mirror so that little ones can find themselves d) this appears to be one in a SERIES of books. This one focuses on BUGS.

 My thoughts: This one is simple yet fun. I love the pattern of the question and answer format. I love the repetitiveness of the response "Here it is." This is really only changed for the last spread where the answer is "There you are!"  I love the fact that it's a peek-a-boo game. The fact that the flaps are felt instead of cardboard is nice. The colors are bright and bold. Overall, I think this is a good choice for parents to choose with little ones.


© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Board book: I'm Scared

I'm Scared (My First Comics #4) Jennifer L. Holm. Illustrated by Matthew Holm. 2017. Random House. 18 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: This is Chilly. How are you feeling, Chilly? AAAGH! SCARED! Chilly is scared of lots of things.

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one: a) It's a board book; b) it's the fourth in a new series by Jennifer L. Holm; c) it is intended to be an introduction to the comic strip format. Chilly, the hero, is scared of MANY things: ladybugs, his own shadow, the dark, etc. Chilly is worried about meeting new people at the playground, but, he really wants to swing. Can he make a new friend or two as well?

My thoughts: I liked this one. I never really thought about a snowflake having a personality, but, it works. The illustrations are simple but still expressive. I liked it when the snowflake shrugged for example. "And sometimes he's scared just because." The word balloon reads: "I don't know why." This sums up so much of my own experiences as a kid. I definitely would be interested in reading the other three books in the series if the library orders them. (Random House sends me review copies randomly, I think. I never know what I'm going to get--if anything.)

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Monday, August 14, 2017

Board book: Where's The Giraffe?

Where's The Giraffe. Ingela P. Arrhenius. 2017. Candlewick. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Where's the lion? Here it is! Where's the crocodile? Here it is!

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one: a) It is a board book; b) it is an interactive book featuring felt flaps so you can play peek-a-boo with the characters in the book; c) the final spread includes a mirror so that little ones can find themselves.

My thoughts: This one is simple yet fun. I love the pattern of the question and answer format. I love the repetitiveness of the response "Here it is." This is really only changed for the last spread where the answer is "There you are!"  I love the fact that it's a peek-a-boo game. The fact that the flaps are felt instead of cardboard is nice. The felt choices are...interesting. Nor realistic perhaps, but very bright and colorful!  Overall, I think this is a good choice for parents to choose with little ones.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Board book: First Words: Baby Signing

First Words Baby Signing. 2017. Scholastic. 18 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Mommy. Can you sign mommy? Spread out your hand and tap your chin with your thumb. Daddy. Can you sign daddy? Spread out your hand and tap your forehead with your thumb. Hello. Can you sign hello? Hold your hand by your head, with the fingers straight and the thumb across the palm. Now move your hand out and away from your body, and smile!

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one...a) it's a board book; b) it has adorable photographs of babies; c) when you lift the flap of the photograph an illustrated baby is revealed; d) the book includes a description of the sign. 

Words included: Mommy, Daddy, hello, bye-bye, baby, come, yes, no, down, up, stop, go, diaper, potty, door, book, cuddle, teddy, eat, drink, all gone, more, banana, cookie, again, play, hurt, yucky, I love you, help, hot, cold.

My thoughts: Can you learn sign language through a book? Maybe, maybe not. Are there better ways for parents to learn these thirty signs? Dare I say probably. I wish that Scholastic had included a DVD in this one. Other board books they've released throughout the years (pets, animals, fire station, etc.) have included DVDs. Why not this one where it makes the most sense? I do realize that there are different types of learners. But the illustrated picture does nothing to actually show you how the sign goes. In fact, in some cases it may lead you in the wrong direction. And reading a description may not be enough for some readers--parents. SEEING a sign demonstrated several times I think is a much better way to go. Before a baby--a toddler--learns the sign, first the parents have to know. It will be the parents showing the baby, working with the baby that will actually "teach" the baby sign language. A baby is not going to pick it up by hearing a description, of course!

I am sure there are many videos available to help parents. I have watched and enjoyed Baby Einstein My First Signs. (You can see bits of it on YouTube).

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers