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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  3,844 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 20 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2003)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa Vegan
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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).
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
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Crystal Allen
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Maggi Rohde
Highly textured!
Fonda Rush
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a sweet book for kids {and adults}. It's all about the tails of different animals complete with tactile additions, like scales, fur, and flashy metallic paper. This book shows the animals in their habitat and uses a few words to describe the pictures. It has fold-outs and moveable parts. The book is thick, so little hands can grasp the elements without tearing the pages. The book for is ages 2 to 5, but I'm 61 and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa by: Joyce Garczynski
Another winner from Matthew van Fleet! This one, of course, focuses on the vast array of unique tails in the animal world. With some pull tab actions, and lots of different textures to feel, I can't wait until my little one is big enough to truly appreciate this book. I also especially liked the insertion of the counting activity at the end!
Kerry Ann
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Recommend for your little reader. [Children's book. Great for ages 1yr+.]

My little one love the entire Van Fleet collection of interactive children’s books. Tails is skewed more to the tactical elements for little fingers to explore. 4 Stars only because my little one loves the other books with more pull tabs just a little more.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
I love the pictures in this one. Although I can live quite happily not having been able to smell the skunk sticker. I have them wander about near my house a lot. Believe me, one doesn’t have to wait long in their lives to find out what a skunk smells like.
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
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Erica Karp
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Vanessa West
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
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Mar 05, 2013 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is really cute but I don't know if my girls feel that way. They listen to it but I can't seem to get them to do the touch and feel stuff as much as I can in other books. It's got lots of touch and feel elements, push/pull parts and flaps.

The book is basically comparing and contrasting different tails on different animals.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Angela Burkhead
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son tore all the tails off first and then tore the rest of the book to pieces though it did last a year and he enjoyed opening all the flaps to see what was behind them. He loved the whale most.
Lots of textures to feel and even a skunk to smell. It's a great first book for young children just learning to turn pages.
The kids were just fascinated by the pictures, so much so, they didn't even try to touch all the touch-and-feel panels, which I was afraid might happen. I think the motion tabs are just super and really bring the doggies to life. Great for babies and toddlers and really good for a lapsit with your special little one.
Vicky McErlean
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Skylar Burris
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book well enough to give it one and a half stars.
A sensory experience it certainly is, excellent either for the very young or the very old. It is simply told and sure to be a lot of fun.
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.
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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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