A solid-enough step into the French language.

ABC FRENCH

TAKE A FUN JOURNEY THROUGH THE ALPHABET AND LEARN SOME FRENCH!

From the Little Concepts series

Little ones learn their ABCs en français.

The French vocabulary for little readers’ favorite animals is the focus of this board book. Each page features a charmingly illustrated animal with their French designation in bold and the English translation below. The alphabetization is based on the French vocabulary, so A is for abeille (bee), P is for poule (hen), V is for vache (cow), and so forth. Some explanation of why these familiar animals are not filing under their customary, English letters will be in order, and such cognates as dauphin, éléphant, and hippopotame will provide further opportunities for discussion about language nuance. There is no pronunciation guide, so success depends on caregivers’ pre-existing understanding of French. The bright, rounded animal illustrations will easily draw in even the youngest readers, and the bold, circus-style typography is certainly a plus. The book’s final pages feature all the animals in an alphabetical parade. Despite the title’s emphasis on the ABCs, this book will work best for those toddlers who’ve mastered their ABCs and are looking to expand their vocabularies.

A solid-enough step into the French language. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63322-412-4

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed.

CIRCLE UNDER BERRY

Nine basic shapes in vivid shifting colors are stacked on pages in various permutations.

This visually striking and carefully assembled collection of shapes, which seems to have been inspired by an Eric Carle aesthetic, invites young children to put their observation, categorization, problem-solving, color, and spatial-relation skills to work, pondering shapes and compositions—and even learning about prepositions in the process. As the text says, “a stack of shapes can make you think and wonder what you see.” First, readers see a circle under a strawberry (the red diamond with a leafy, green top and yellow-triangle seeds) and then that berry over a green square. The orange oval made to look like a fish is added to a stack of three shapes to become “yellow over diamond under guppy over green.” And so on. The metamorphosis of many of these simple shapes into animals (a yellow circle becomes a lion; a green square, a frog; a pink heart, a pig; a yellow diamond, a chicken) will surprise and delight children. Questions are directed at readers: Is a square with two round eyes and semicircle feet a “frog or square or green?” Why, all of the above! The text possesses a pleasing rhythm and subtle rhymes, positively begging to be read aloud: “circle next to berry / square by bear by sweet // blue up high / pig down low / yellow in between.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-79720-508-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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