Captivating—and not a bit terrifying.

SHARKBLOCK

From the Block Books series

Catering to young scientists, naturalists, and Shark Week fans–to-be, this visually arresting volume presents a good deal of information in easily digested bites.

Like others in the Block Books series, this book feels both compact and massive. When closed, it is 5.5 inches across, 6.5 inches tall, and nearly 2 inches thick, weighty and solid, with stiff cardboard pages that boast creative die cuts and numerous fold-out three- and four-panel tableaux. While it’s possible it’s not the only book with a dorsal fin, it certainly must be among the best. The multiracial cast of aquarium visitors includes a Sikh man with his kids and a man of color who uses a wheelchair; there they discover the dramatic degree of variations among sharks. The book begins with a trip to a shark exhibit, complete with a megalodon jaw. The text points out that there are over 400 known types of sharks alive today, then introduces 18 examples, including huge whale sharks, tiny pocket sharks, and stealthy, well-camouflaged wobbegongs. Reef sharks prowl the warm waters of the surface, while sand tiger sharks explore shipwrecks on the ocean floor. Bioluminescent catsharks reside at the bottom of an inky black flap that folds down, signifying the deepest ocean depths, where no sunlight penetrates. Great whites get star treatment with four consecutive two-page spreads; their teeth and appetite impress but don’t horrify. The book does a wonderful job of highlighting the interconnectedness of species and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Captivating—and not a bit terrifying. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4119-7

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skimpy with just six spreads but, like its companions, a simple, serene seasonal posy.

SUMMER

A POP-UP BOOK

From the Seasons Pop-Up series

Carter completes his round of seasonal tributes with pop-up sprays of luscious-looking small fruits, garden bounty, and bright flowers.

As before, the locale is a generalized western United States, and both early- and late-season flora and foliage are on display in the same scenes. Along with lots of labels for the neatly limned animals and vegetation in each broad, idyllic landscape—from a “cedar waxwing” nibbling on a “cherry” to the marbled-paper “chickens” pecking beneath a tree heavy with ripe apples—he adds leading questions (“Who eats the flowers?” “Who looks like a stick?”) to invite closer looks. Frisky “chipmunks” are named in the first tableau, then visible without an identifier in each of the following five for younger viewers to point out. Highlighted by a spiraling cucumber vine that turns the vegetable garden into a convincing tangle, the pop-ups are simple and (relatively) sturdy but rear gracefully to surprising heights considering the volume’s small trim size.

Skimpy with just six spreads but, like its companions, a simple, serene seasonal posy. (Informational pop-up picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2832-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A mix of fabs and flubs, but there are plenty of opportunities for interactive play nonetheless, at least as long as the...

MY FIRST TOOLBOX

PRESS OUT & PLAY

Cardboard tools for budding carpenters.

Each of the five heavy-duty press-out tools can be put to immediate use—turning screws on the page opposite the screwdriver, for instance, or making a satisfying “whoopa-whoopa” by sliding the saw through five adjacent die-cut slots. It’s not going to be quite so easy, though, to measure “1 board” when the accompanying slotted tape measure has no numbers on it (and is also shorter than the board and very sticky and hard to work, to boot). Readers are encouraged to use the wrench to “tighten 2 nuts,” but those nuts are on smooth posts rather than threads, so they simply spin fruitlessly rather than tightening. The four flat “nails” that can be hammered into slots are small enough to make the toddler advisory on the rear cover a necessity, too. Still, the tools and other pieces are large enough for post-toddlers to wield easily, and they offer tantalizing previews of what handling real tools will be like. The book closes with an encouraging “Good job using your tools!”

A mix of fabs and flubs, but there are plenty of opportunities for interactive play nonetheless, at least as long as the parts stay with the book. (Novelty board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2929-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more