Tails are irresistible to toddlers, and in Matthew Van Fleet’s sturdy touch-and-feel board book, preschool-age pokers and prodders can finally tug to their heart’s content. Engaging, cartoonish animals from tigers to pangolins romp across the pages as the rhyming text bounces along: “Tails fluffy, / Tails stringy, / Scaled tails strong and—clingy!” Pull tabs, lift-able flaps, tufts of fur, and even a scratch-and-sniff skunk tail provide plenty of tactile surprises. Along the way, youngsters will learn about counting, opposites, and how animals use their tails. A tried and true tail-wagger!
The most fascinating part of an animal, in the minds of many young children, is the tail. Not only do kids lack such appendages, they've been told that, as tempting as they are to yank on, tails are not to be touched. Fortunately, this charming, texture-rich board book (with patches of real fake fur!) is the next best thing. A vast menagerie of cartoonish critters play and scamper around the pages of Matthew Van Fleet's Tails sporting tails of all types: bumpy alligator tails, fuzzy tiger tails, and even slightly stinky scratch-and-sniff skunk tails. Children can pull the tabs to make some of the tails wag or swish. The story line is minimal, as animals lounge about playing with one another and generally having good-natured fun. Catchy rhyming verse ("Tails fluffy, tails stringy, scaled tails strong and clingy. Tails long. Tails stumpy, pulling tails makes snoozers grumpy") keeps the action moving along and encourages young readers eager to turn the page. Shoddy construction can often spell doom for lift-the-flap and touch-and-feel children's books but Tails is every bit as well-designed as it is well-written and illustrated. (Preschool) --John Moe