Whose Nest is Best?: A Lift-the-Flap Book (Heidi E. Y. Stemple)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Whose Nest is Best?: A Lift-the-Flap Book, written by Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by Gareth Lucas, a fun and interactive board book for beginner birdwatchers.

Of all the birds in the air and on the ground, who builds the best of nests? Is it the hummingbird’s tiny nest of dried grass and spiderweb threads? Or an oriole’s soft but strong nest that hangs instead of balancing? Is it the packed-mud nesting colonies of the swallows? Or a penguin Daddy simply resting his egg on his feet? There are lots of possibilities, but the truth is plain: whichever nest was built for the baby bird inside is the perfect nest for them!

Adorable! This cute little peek inside different types of common bird species’ nests, many of which can be found in the majority of backyards, parks, or local woodland areas, is both entertaining and educational. Stemple’s jolly rhymes and Lucas’s colorful quasi-geometric art combine nicely for a read that bird lovers of any age will enjoy. I wish a little clarification had been given on the nests featured that were built with human assistance (bluebirds and ospreys), and the design of the bluebird and robin are similar enough that the species can be easily confused, but these are minor quibbles. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ really enjoyed it, especially the interactive element. Overall, a lovely board book for young animal lovers, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Into the Sand Castle: A Lift-the-Flap Book (Cindy Jin)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Into the Sand Castle: A Lift-the-Flap Book, written by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Allison Black, an interactive board book that explores an undersea palace and its surprising inhabitants.

In a sea floor sand castle, complete with towering turrets and plenty of doors to explore, there lives a number of oceanic residents. From a friendly shark to grumpy king crab to an artistic octopus, little bookworms can have fun meeting some entertaining critters… and maybe even a magical surprise guest!

Underwater fun. Utilizing a creative cutout design and some absolutely adorable illustrations by Black, this board book takes a pretty basic premise and adds some colorful and engaging flair. The rhyming text is pretty simple to read, and even if the meter is a little inconsistent, the guessing game of who hides behind the lift-a-flap doors – and which door they’re hiding behind, as each spread features 2-3 flaps – is genuinely fun. Plus, I loved that the shark was characterized as “friendly” – anyone who knows about sharks know that they are usually painted as villains, which is pretty unfair for such an at-risk family of species. The length is perfect for the youngest of bookworms, and JJ really enjoyed the bright, colorful artwork and the multitude of interactive elements. Overall, this could be a fun one to kick off the summer, and we liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

What’s Inside the Easter Egg?: A Lift-the-Flap Book (Cindy Jin)

Hello, friends! Our book today is What’s Inside the Easter Egg?: A Lift-the-Flap Book, written by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Fiona Dulieu, an interactive Easter board book of baby animals.

On each page, little bookworms are presented with a colorful Easter egg and a rhyming riddle – can you guess who’s inside? Is it a puppy, a kitten, a duckling, or a chick? Or, is it everyone’s favorite fluffy Eaater ambassador, the Easter Bunny? The only way to find out is to lift the flap!

Lots of fun. This is a pretty simple book conceptually, and pulls off its themes very well. Each riddle gives clues as to the appearance of the baby animal being teased as well as a clue about the sound they make, so readers learning their animals will be able to play along and make guesses before the flaps – which are all in the shape of large Easter eggs decorated to give further clues about the animal inside – are lifted. The rhyme scheme isn’t particularly intuitive on the initial read-through, but is easy to get used to after the first few pages. Dulieu’s soft-edged and brightly-colored illustrations are wonderfully adorable and capture the spring seasonal theme perfectly. This is a short read for the very smallest bookworms, and JJ – a big fan of lift-the-flaps – really enjoyed this one. Overall, a sweet Easter treat that any little bookworms can enjoy. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Look After Us: A Lift-The-Flap Book (Rod Campbell)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Look After Us: A Lift-The-Flap Book by Rod Campbell, an animal conservation board book from the creator of the classic Dear Zoo.

Everyone loves wild animals! Lions, tigers, elephants, and orangutans are all such incredible creatures, but when the narrator decides to visit where they live, they are surprised to find that there aren’t many left in their natural habitats. “We need to look after them better,” the text repeats, with the narrator imploring the reader to look after these unique and special animals. At last, they visit the ocean, where there are lots and lots of whales. People are looking after the whales, so their numbers are strong, just as they should be.

Clumsy but sincere. While Campbell doesn’t quite recapture the magic of Dear Zoo in this lesson on species conservation for the littlest of bookworms, the genuine intention of inspiring readers to be conscious of endangered species is evident. The text is a little clunky, but uses repetition to its advantage, especially with an intended audience of very early readers. And while the idea that whales are no longer a concern for conservationists (about half of the great whale species are still endangered or vulnerable), Campbell chooses a good mix of kid-favorite critters to highlight; I was particularly surprised to find that Bactrian Camels are endangered in the wild. Simplistic illustrations are charming and a whitespace-heavy layout allows little ones to focus on the animals and their environments. Length was fine for the littlest of bookworms, and JJ enjoyed lifting the flaps. A very basic book to introduce kiddos to the idea of taking care of our wild animal pals, but effective. Overall, Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Kisses, Kisses, Head to Toe! (Karen Katz)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Kisses, Kisses, Head to Toe! by Karen Katz, an adorable beginner board book about little bodies.

Head to toe, babies are so very kissable! The littlest bookworms and their caregivers can enjoy this chipper lift-the-flap tale that explores some of baby’s most kissable parts: nose, toes, belly buttons, and so on. A mirror on the last page lets little readers check out all of their own little features too.

Simple, sweet, adorable. From rhyming text to cuddly illustrations, Katz builds a great first “my body” board book for babies, creating a title that is interactive, visually engaging, and well-themed. A few minor complaints: while the illustrations feature a diversity of skintones, all of the caregivers do appear to be female-coded, which feels like a missed opportunity to show affectionate fathers. Also, the flaps are on the flimsy side, which can result in tearing when in overeager baby hands. These are minor quibbles, however; the book itself is still a great length for a very quick read, making it ideal for its intended audience, yet introduces babies to their bodies in a fun and entertaining way. JJ and I both had fun perusing it. Overall, a perfectly sweet board book, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)