cover image TAILS


Matthew Van Fleet, . . Harcourt/Red Wagon, $12.95 (20pp) ISBN 978-0-15-216773-8

Spotted through a die-cut window forming the letters of this book's title, the furry tails of a tiger and bush baby and the bumpy tails of an alligator and a pangolin number among the seven textures little fingers can touch in this lively look at animal appendages. Sturdy pages feature friendly, frisky creatures interacting—and flaps and tabs encourage youngsters to do the same. A pull of a tab makes two young foxes' tails wag; a lift of a flap reveals the shimmering, Mylar-enhanced fanned-out feathers of one deservedly proud peacock, owner of the volume's most dazzling tail. Other child-pleasing pages include a pull-tab showing two tiny alligators hatching from eggs, displaying their "tails new"; and a pair of pages that open to reveal a whale of a tail, in fact "The biggest tail of all!" The entire cast poses atop the smiling mammal with their species labeled. A final spread offers a counting game, challenging readers to search the pages for two tigers, three foxes, four pandas, etc. Youngsters will hardly realize how much they're learning in this entertaining and eye-catching caper. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)