Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Fuzzy Furry Ouch by Cree Lane and Amanda Jane Jones

Sometimes it seems that the bulk of new board books being published are really directed at adults, either as gag-type gifts or as a cheaper, handier version of lengthier picture books. There just aren't that many books that are developmentally appropriate for infants to toddlers. On the other hand, I don't think it really matters that much ultimately, since the interaction between reader and listener may be just as, if not more, important than the actual content of the book.

That being said, this is a well-meaning book but it really does not work, not even, in my opinion, as something for an adult and child to enjoy together. The idea is simple - instead of a touch-and-feel story, it's a "do not touch" book. However, since board books are intended for young, very tactile children, this just... doesn't work. There is a "fuzzy" pink peach and a green caterpillar with spikes labeled "furry." The peach has a fuzzy coating on it, but there is no tactile element to the caterpillar (and kids shouldn't be encouraged to think of caterpillars as furry - if they look furry, it's usually hairs, not fur, and they can be irritating and/or stinging.) The cactus of the front page, which has slightly raised spikes, is repeated with no tactile elements and readers are encouraged to "find a flower instead!" with the flowers having die-cut shapes over silk.

There's a rather confusing set of pages around rain, puddles, and boots, pancakes and syrup (the syrup is smooth, not "sticky" but to be fair you... really wouldn't want a sticky page in a book). The page that bothers me the most comes next - gold foil covers an image of a stove, basically a rectangle with some white dots, with the reminder not to touch a hot stove. It doesn't look remotely like any stove, and regardless of whether the book is telling people not to touch, young children are tactile and the indented, sparkly shapes are just asking to be touched. There are several more sessions, some with a lizard and snake, "rough" palm trees that aren't textured at all, and ending with a rocket. Yes, it makes no sense to me either.

Verdict: This was an interesting idea, but in my opinion not only poorly and inaccurately executed but also actually verging on dangerous. Not recommended.

ISBN: 9781665924740; Published November 2022 by Little Simon; Review copy provided by publisher

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