You’re My Little Baby (Eric Carle)

Hello, friends! Our book today is You’re My Little Baby by Eric Carle, a touch-and-feel board book featuring the timelessly charming artwork of the beloved children’s author and illustrator.

With parent as narrator, this simple title compares the reader’s little baby to the adorable offspring of other creatures; they are playful and shy like a bear cub, gentle and sweet like a lamb, soft and new like a fuzzy duckling. Alongside are a parent’s promises to their little one: that they will be carried and “loved through and through”. Touch-and-feel elements accompany Carle’s depictions of parent-and-child animal pairs, ending in a final mirrored page that allows for parents and their little babies to become part of the story.

Generic yet sweet. Carle’s signature illustrations are easily the highlight of this baby/toddler-aged title, endearing animal pairs set against spare white backgrounds that appeal to both babies and their caregivers. The rhyming text is easily read aloud and similarly winsome, if a touch basic. The touch-and-feel elements are hit and miss: a delightfully fleecy sheep and bushy lift-a-flap hiding a bear cub are standouts, but others are bland and feel tacked-on. Still, the length is perfect for the littlest bookworms, and JJ and I enjoyed the elements that worked immensely. Nothing groundbreaking, but a charming title all the same, and one that’s sure to please. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Night Night, Dino-Snores (Nicola Edwards)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Night Night, Dino-Snores, written by Nicola Edwards and illustrated by Thomas Elliot, a bedtime touch-and-feel board book for little dino lovers.

Nighttime has come, and it’s time for little dinosaurs to go to sleep. Each of the nine species is introduced by name, then shown curling up, cuddling close, bedding down, and otherwise preparing for a night of sleep in their family groups. Dozing Diplos, tiny Pteros, and snoozing Spinos are all here, and ready for a cozy sleep under the starry skies.

Basic but sweet. This bedtime book has its positives: the rhyming text achieves a very nice, soothing, sleepy rhythm that genuinely feels relaxing, and the adorable illustrations of the tired little dinosaurs and their families, created in a dusty-twilight palette of colors, are charming and equally calming. The area where the title falters is its touch-and-feel elements, which seem completely random and arbitrary (flocked fleece on the spine of a stegosaurus? Holographic plastic scales on a brontosaurus that don’t even match the creature’s coloring?), and don’t correspond to anything in the text. It makes the element feel tacked on, and gives nothing to the overall tone of the story. It’s a lively little bedtime story, especially for dinosaur-lovers like JJ, and would have been fine without the disjointed interactivity attempt. Still, it’s a good length and a fun read, and JJ loved it, so it’s definitely worth a look. Baby Bookworm approved!

Oscar The Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year (Matthew Van Fleet)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Oscar The Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year by Matthew Van Fleet, an aquatic, interactive adventure for little bookworms.

Readers follow the mostly unseen – save for his tentacles – Oscar as he spends the year catching a menagerie of sea creatures (it’s never directly explained what he DOES with the creatures he captures, and eventually they are all released). With each page dedicated to a month of the year, a touch-and-feel element – along with the text – gives the reader a clue as to what creature Oscar has caught this time; a lift-the-flap and label reveals the various sea animals, such as lionfish, sea otters, sharks, cuttlefish and more. At last, when his year of fishing is done, Oscar feels a tickle in his nose. Letting loose a mighty sneeze, he releases his smiling collection of new friends back out into the sea.

Tons of fun. While the light story is a little confusing, and the subtitle a tad misleading (the subject matter has as much to do with sea animals, colors, and the touch-and-feel sensory elements as the months of the year), the final product is so much fun for little readers that it’s easily forgivable. JJ had an absolute blast feeling sticky cuttlefish tentacles and discovering furry penguin chicks, and begged to be read the story a second time the moment we finished – always a telling sign of how engaging a book is. Van Fleet’s illustrations strike a good balance between natural authenticity and cartoon appeal for each of the creatures, and the story is a brisk yet immensely entertaining read. A lovely addition to any curious young bookworm’s library, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Scratchie: A Touch-And-Feel Cat Adventure (Maria Putri)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Scratchie: A Touch-And-Feel Cat Adventure by Maria Putri, a delightful toddler book centered around a frisky feline.

Scratchie the cat loves to scratch things – “it keeps my claws super sharp”. The mischievous kitty invites the reader along to scratch things together, touring through an abundance of different textures. And after a busy morning of scratching together (and leaving an enormous mess), Scratchie has the perfect idea for winding down: a snooze and a pet of some nice, soft cat fur.

Cat-loving bookworms will go nuts for this one – JJ was practically jumping out of her skin at the opportunity to follow along and pretend to “scratch” the different textures with Scratchie, and the self-possessed, very feline quality of the dialogue made me chuckle. The textures themselves are very nicely varied, though they don’t always quite line up with what’s being described; a “scratchy” paper towel is a soft terry cloth, and a “wooden” table is the distinct feel of vinyl plastic. Still, the wonderfully soft fur of Scratchie at the end served a dual purpose of tying up the story nicely and giving us a go-to page to practice gently petting a cat, which would be a huge help for any house that hosts both toddlers and kitties. The length was perfect, and we liked this one. Baby Bookworm approved!

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