While the likely answer is no, this offering is still a visually captivating delight for careful little ones. (Board book....

ALPHABLOCK

From the Block Books series

In this ABC book, shaped pages lead readers to corresponding objects.

The usual alphabet objects are presented here in the straightforward text: “A IS FOR... // APPLE.” The graphically appealing design devotes two double-page spreads to each letter. In the first spread, the right-hand side is a full-size, die-cut letter, while the left depicts a scene. A portion of the object, animal or person the featured letter stands for peeks through the die-cut openings; a cheery, red octopus smiles through the hole of the “O,” and the tail of a fish is visible from behind the “F.” Once the letter/page is turned, the background from the previous left-hand page blends seamlessly with the full double-page spread that’s revealed. The visual hints provide a playful guessing game for young readers, with a nice balance of the easily recognizable (the nose of a train emerges from behind the “T”) to the slightly more challenging (the handle of a pair of scissors sticks out from the middle of the “S”). With a pleasing, retro feel, Peskimo’s art uses bold colors in a slightly muted hue and the weathered look of woodblock prints. The book’s construction is the only real concern, as 104 board pages are a lot for any binding. Will the die-cut letters survive the vigorous page turns of doubtless eager readers?

While the likely answer is no, this offering is still a visually captivating delight for careful little ones. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0936-4

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.

MY FIRST BUSY BOOK

From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

BYE-BYE BINKY

From the Big Kid Power series

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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