Though this feels rather like a bound set of attractive animal-themed flashcards, it might be just right for keen young...

ABC ANIMALS

ALPACA, BONOBO, AND CHINCHILLA - 26 COOL NEW ANIMALS TO DISCOVER

From the Little Concepts series

Tired of learning about the same-old, same-old “cat” and “rabbit”? Here’s an opportunity to meet 26 new animal friends.

Opening on a verso with the usual critters and a recto crammed with lesser-known species, an awkwardly rhyming introduction challenges readers to learn more about unusual animals. Abruptly, the book then transitions into a traditional ABC format with “A is for Alpaca,” presenting one letter and animal per page, a change that makes it read like an awkwardly stitched-together rhyming book and alphabet book. Its goal of broadening awareness of animal diversity is laudable, but with the creatures sporting only names and no other supporting information, readers might remain lost about what exactly is a “fossa” or a “quokka.” Thankfully, the book finds its hooves and paws with its graphically gorgeous design and illustrations. Showy, stylized animals achieve a delicate balance between cute yet realistic, and they look especially spiffy against sleekly patterned or richly saturated pastel backgrounds. Each double-page spread offers its own harmonious color combination, so the bright pink highlights and green-striped background of the “okapi” inversely mirror the opposite page’s “pademelon” and its vivid pink background and bushes in shades of green.

Though this feels rather like a bound set of attractive animal-themed flashcards, it might be just right for keen young zoologists. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63322-628-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind.

BABIES AROUND THE WORLD

Ten babies in 10 countries greet friends in almost 10 languages.

Countries of origin are subtly identified. For example, on the first spread, NYC is emblazoned on a blond, white baby’s hat as well as a brown baby’s scoot-car taxi. On the next spread, “Mexico City” is written on a light brown toddler’s bike. A flag in each illustration provides another hint. However, the languages are not named, so on first reading, the fine but important differences between Spanish and Portuguese are easily missed. This is also a problem on pages showing transliterated Arabic from Cairo and Afrikaans from Cape Town. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese are transliterated, without use of traditional hànzì or kanji characters. British English is treated as a separate language, though it is, after all, still English. French (spoken by 67 million people) is included, but German, Russian, and Hindi (spoken by 101 million, 145 million, and 370 million respectively) are not. English translations are included in a slightly smaller font. This world survey comes full circle, ending in San Francisco with a beige baby sleeping in an equally beige parent’s arms. The message of diversity is reinforced by images of three babies—one light brown, one medium brown, one white—in windows on the final spread.

A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-938093-87-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging.

NOISY DIGGER

From the I Can Learn! series

This noisy board book is designed to thrill tots fascinated with all things construction.

A tactile backhoe digger is center stage on each of the five cutout pages, complete with flaps. Brief rhyming text describes the machine’s actions as it works throughout the day. Animal characters engaged in manual labor or operating other machinery—a bulldozer, crane, road roller, and dump truck—describe more work that goes on at a construction site in small speech bubbles. Finding the mouse in every scene adds to the fun. On each page, a little bird sporting a hard hat invites young builders to press various parts of the silicone digger to activate a range of distinct sounds. The digger’s track pad sounds different from the sound of its arm moving dirt. The problem is that the digger itself is passive; the track pad and arm don’t actually move. The machine stays in the same place on every spread. The caution light beeps but doesn’t light up. Savvy kids will quickly realize that all the sounds are accessible from the first spread without having to turn the pages. The sound is the most engaging part of the book, but with only five sounds, this feature won’t hold most youngsters’ attention for long.

A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-684-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more