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4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,382 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
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 fla ...more
Novelty Book, 20 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jun 19, 2011 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing
I saw this one in Chapters one day and had to get it - then I ordered one online and had it sent to my sister for my niece's second birthday. It's a tactile book, with different textures to feel, and also has flaps and moving parts - unlike the pop-up books of my childhood, this one is very sturdy with very thick pages, so it looks like it will last longer under children's enthusiastic fingers!

It also has great vocabulary, teaching animal names and also body parts, adjectives and verbs. Each spr
Shanna Gonzalez
Sep 16, 2012 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-00-04
Tactile books, with their touchable pictoral inserts, movable pull-tabs, and trite verbiage, are invariably intriguing to the preschool set and wearying to parents. This one is a nice change. It features a collection of appealing baby animals -- not just the usual pigs, racoons, beavers and tigers, but also pandas, weasels, tamarins, and alligators. Each page features a toddler-friendly lift-the-flap, pull-tab, and/or touchable insert, and each scene is introduced with well-paced, punchy rhyming ...more
Dec 30, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
I liked: being a dad and repairing the broken pull-tabs when she broke them.
she liked: pulling the pull-tabs so much they broke (see above).
Lisa Vegan
Feb 26, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: one and two year olds and those young at heart, especially animal lovers
This is so cute and it’s the perfect toddler and baby book. It’s fun and educational to touch all the various tails and see the pictures of the animals they belong to. There’s even a little counting lesson included.
A sensory delight for young children (and adults reading the book to them). This is the ultimate board book with textures, different colors, even a stinky spot that can be smelled. Although a sturdier book, I don't recommend letting very young children handle it as there are thinner pages and delicate action pages. While listed on my "children-numbers" shelf it is not a traditional counting book. It does contain a built-in counting feature though -- the child can flip through the book (most like ...more
Maggi Rohde
Apr 26, 2015 Maggi Rohde rated it really liked it
Highly textured!
Jan 05, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
As far as texture based books go, this one is heads
(or tails?) above the rest. The illustrations are whimsical and informative (pulling tails makes snoozers grumpy - a lesson my 3 year old hasn't quite learned yet). And the interactive features are sturdy! My kids will spend hours wagging the pig's tail. One of the features I like the best are the post-reading activities (counting all the animals, learning the unusual names for the menagerie, etc.)
Erica Karp
Jun 25, 2014 Erica Karp rated it liked it
Shelves: science, math
This book is a hands-on book that introduces the concept of different types of tails. It covers a wide variety of animals and has different kinds of textures to associate with each (e.g., bumpy, fluffy). There is even a scratch and sniff spot on the skunk tail! In addition to describing all the tails, the book includes a list of ten animals it mentions for readers to count. This book could be used as an introduction to how animals are different. It does a good job of showing a variety of species ...more
Christopher Hatton
Apr 04, 2014 Christopher Hatton rated it it was amazing
Both of my kids loved this book when they were little. Particularly the fox tails that swish back and forth and the interaction with the piggies. For a pull-tab, 3-D novelty book, it is surprisingly durable. When you think of pop-ups and stuff like that, they usually get mangled, fall apart, and wind up in the wastebasket. Not so for tails. I thought of it today out of the blue because of this article on CNN about endangered pangolins ( I had never even ...more
Crystal Allen
Sep 10, 2009 Crystal Allen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents of young children
Love, Love, Love this book. This was our best selling kids book at the bookstore I used to manage! Very sturdy cardboard pull tabs and lift the flaps that would be pretty indestructible for young hands.
Jun 13, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Synopsis: "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, youn ...more
Leslie Stair
I use this book for my Baby and Me Art Class

This program includes reading aloud this book, demonstrating a few simple ASL baby signs (a few animals from the book in this case but you could use signs related to touch or textures as well), singing songs, movement and instruments and finally a process oriented art activity.

After reading the book I passed around a few different objects for caregivers to help their little ones explore. Feathers, material, paper, lids, etc-various textures-and to talk
Nashiea Edmiston
Top notch beginner board book with all sorts of interactive activities such as touching/feeling and smell. The book uses simple rhymes and lovely pictures to introduce children to the very different animal tails. In the end, there is a recap of all the animals in numerical order where children can see the numbers and the animals along with their very different tales.
Cordellya Smith
Oct 12, 2014 Cordellya Smith rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful! The illustrations combine with the pull tabs, textures, and scratch-and-sniff features to keep children excited from start to finish. At the end of the book, all you will hear is, "Read it again!"
A fun, colorful book, but it is not solidly constructed enough ... so unless you own your own copy, prepare to explain why "there are supposed to be tails here." Every library copy I've seen has major moving bits missing.
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
A cute book full of lots of different kinds of tails. Cute enough to read once or twice, but doesn't really sustain the parent through intensive re-reading.
Morgan Echtenkamp
Nov 16, 2015 Morgan Echtenkamp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is adorable! It includes pull tabs, textures, shapes, and even a scratch and sniff skunk! It is great for counting practice, as well.
Mar 02, 2014 Sophie added it
I got this book from my Aunt Danielle and Uncle Jeremy for Christmas. I broke off the pig's tail.
Jun 04, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Great toddler book. Both my girls loved it
Vanessa West
Nov 22, 2013 Vanessa West rated it it was amazing
Tails was given to my son at such an early age but we have been reading it to him ever since he could begin to reach for things. The realistic illustrations weren't enough for this book, they added touchable textures, furs and movable objects. The books main point os the animals and tails of course, it is a very cute book for young kids to read. This picture book is entitled for a young audience such as kindergarten and younger. It is a great book that would allow my students to read and keep th ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Robin rated it liked it
Sturdy mechanics for little hands.
Apr 27, 2015 Traci rated it really liked it
Titus loves this book.
Mar 05, 2013 Libby is currently reading it
At this age, most 12-24 month year old children are exhibiting an active interest in books. Tails is a book that promotes print motivation skills by tapping into the child’s curiosity and ability to point to objects when named. As a concept animal book, the shared reading experience between child and caregiver incorporates the practice of reading and talking about animals through pictures and rhymes helps support phonological awareness, vocabulary development and print awareness.
Jan 29, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: babies-K
If I could give this another star, I would! This has been my kids favorite touchy-feely book ever. It's pretty sturdy too, so you can relax if your child gets to it without your supervision. I love the counting and rhyming, and the different textures are enticing enough that adults and older children have to touch too! Now that my copy has been through several children, I do need to get a new one, and I think I may get two so I have a back-up in the future...
Mel Foster
Jan 01, 2014 Mel Foster rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Tails is a very fun book for the littlest readers, ages 2-4. Lots of touchable textures, colorful critters, foldout and moving pages, and even scratch and sniff. All my children loved it. We went through two copies, not because it isn't very sturdily made, but because they all loved it.
Jul 07, 2007 Hope rated it it was amazing
I learned from this book that when a baby likes a book, you read it over and over and over and...well, you get the picture. We've been reading it for months and so far its charms have not palled for either me or my now seven-month-old, and he still hasn't worked out all the reasons why it's a good book. But what does it say about me that after 90 repeats I'm still happy to read a short poem about tails?
Jan 04, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
I bought this book for my friend's one-and-a-half-year-old son. Of course, I had to read it myself before purchasing.

Every page is colorful and interactive - fold out peacock tails and fly-swatting pig tails. The animal tails come in a variety of textures - plush and soft to rough and scaly - which entice children to touch. The best part: the scratch-and-sniff skunk tail!
Apr 22, 2008 Kristin rated it really liked it
My older children love to read this to my youngest son. I have to say I am amazed at the sturdiness of this book considering it is constantly open and shut, having tabs pulled on, textures rubbed, scratched, smooshed, et cetera. The illustrations are absolutely delightful and we never seem to tire of this poem regardless how many times we read it a day! A lovely gift for toddlers.
Vicky McErlean
Jul 04, 2013 Vicky McErlean rated it really liked it
Nice interactive books for little ones. The illustrations are simple and engaging. The textures are pleasant to touch. I have found that the kids LOVE making the tails wag. I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because some of the animals are too unusual. I feel the book would have been more engaging if it included animals more familiar to younger children.
Skylar Burris
Jan 02, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This has been a favorite of both my daughter (at three) and my son (at one and a half). It has lots of things to touch and feel as well as a few pull pages and a scratch n' sniff. Sturdy, even for my destructive toddler (although he has managed to pull one tail half off). I am tired of reading it, but it doesn't wear on me as much as some books do.
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Matthew Van Fleet's innovative books have been introducing children to basic concepts for over twenty years. His unique formats invite toddlers to touch, press, pull, lift and even sniff as they explore colors, shapes, numbers, letters, opposites and more. His books include the #1 New York Times bestsellers TAILS and DOG as well as the New York Times bestsellers CAT, ALPHABET, and HEADS.
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