A well-meaning mismatch between format and audience

ABC RAINFOREST

From the AMNH ABC Board Books series

The latest title in the American Museum of Natural History ABC board book series focuses on rain forests and the amazing animals and plants that populate them.

Like the other titles in this series, this is a beautifully designed volume that uses the alphabet as a convenient means to present some interesting scientific information. Striking stock photographs are paired with large letters and set against solid-colored backgrounds, creating a set of images that will appeal to readers of all ages, adults included. The facts and concepts offered here are a bit more sophisticated than in previous titles and seem to be pretty clearly aimed at children who already know their ABCs and are of an age to have transitioned to paper pages. D, for example, is for Deforestation, which “leads to the destruction of the rainforest,” while Z is for Zoochory, “the scattering of seeds by animals.” Neither a traditional alphabet book nor a comprehensive introduction to rain forests, this offers a combination of attractive illustrations and intriguing, if random, factoids that might spark readers to seek out other, more thorough treatments of the subject or check out their local natural history museums to learn more.

A well-meaning mismatch between format and audience . (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1746-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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