Monday, August 21, 2017

Board book: Duck & Goose Colors

Duck & Goose Colors. Tad Hills. 2015. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Duck is yellow, like a field of buttercups. Bluebird is blue, like the sky and the sea. The inchworm is green, like leaves. Duck's feet are orange, like a pumpkin, a carrot, and Goose's hat.

Premise/plot: What you should know about this book: a) it's a board book; b) it's a concept book--teaching colors; c) it stars Tad Hills' Duck & Goose.

My thoughts: I do like Duck and Goose. My favorite book starring Duck and Goose is DUCK & GOOSE FIND A PUMPKIN. If your little one loves these characters, this one is worth reading. It is simple. One sentence per spread, and each sentence is focused on introducing one color. There isn't any story to this one. But not every color concept book can be Mouse Paint. I do like the rhythm of the prose.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Board book: Gossie & Friends Say Good Night

Gossie & Friends Say Goodnight. Olivier Dunrea. 2017. HMH. 18 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Everyone on Old Farm is getting ready for bed. Everyone, except Ollie. "What are you doing, Gossie?" "I sip some water before going to bed," Gossie says.

Premise/plot: Ollie is the only one NOT getting ready for bed. Instead Ollie is visiting his friends one by one and asking them what they are doing. Each one responds in a typical way; that is each replies that he/she is doing something to prepare for going to bed. One by one Ollie says good night to each of his friends. By the end of the book, Ollie is at last ready for bed too.

What you should know about this one: a) it's a board book; b) it stars familiar characters from a series; c) it's a bedtime book; d) it's also a touch-and-feel book.

My thoughts: This one has a slow-moving plot. I think this was completely intentional. The back of the book says it's supposed to "lull" little ones to sleep. The problem with books with "lulling" potential is that parents may fall asleep even before their children do. I have read other books in the series--picture books--and they're not nearly this boring. That's why I think it is intentional. I think the touch and feel elements are okay, but, once again wish that those in power would realize that shiny is not a texture to be touched. Also why is BooBoo eating something that sticky?!

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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