This well-meaning math concept book sinks under the weight of too much information, unevenly conveyed—a washout.

BATHTIME MATHTIME SHAPES

Pictures of objects on the front and outlines of shapes on the back of sturdy tabs invite precocious toddlers to open the pages.

Within, four-line rhyming verses that incorporate the titular refrain include a question and hint about an object, usually but not always bath-related, with that shape. Four common shapes—circle, square, triangle and rectangle—begin, respectively paired with “mommy’s pretty ring,” a washcloth, the sail on a toy boat, and a bath towel. From this concrete beginning the concepts grow abruptly more abstract. A charming double-page illustration of the toddler protagonist sitting amid shapes floating in the bathtub accompanies the vague text: “What shapes can the water make? / A heart or star? An oval lake? / Water changes shape—it’s flowing. / Bathtime Mathtime, let’s keep going!” Then one spread and 10 lines of text describe 3-D objects: sphere (a ball), cylinder (a shampoo bottle—notably, not depicted as a cylinder), and cube (blocks). The next spread just shows the light-skinned, pigtailed child splashing in the tub. The note to parents at the end claims that the book will show that bathtime “(including hair washing!)” can be fun, but nowhere in the story are the child’s pigtails taken down, much less shampooed. A final rebus provides a review and hurriedly introduces cone and pyramid shapes.

This well-meaning math concept book sinks under the weight of too much information, unevenly conveyed—a washout. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-93396-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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