A sweet encouragement to play.

WATER

From the Baby Unplugged series

The newest title in the Baby Unplugged series by pediatrician Hutton (Book, 2012, etc.) takes a toddler-friendly approach to its examination of the properties and virtues of water.

In keeping with the author’s basic philosophy of encouraging active play and avoiding screen time before the age of 3, this title celebrates the rhythms of language while encouraging little ones to examine and explore the simple wonders of their world. Brief, rhyming verses, most of which scan well and read smoothly, convey a lot of information without coming across as too teacher-y or tedious: “Drop from clouds. Drip from sink. / Water to play. Water to drink. // Water is noisy. Water is quiet. / Water swirls and sprinkles—try it!” The computer-generated art creates a cheery, cartoon world filled with patterns, textures and children whose facial features are rendered with only black lines and circles. While the whimsical illustrations aren’t a perfect match for the text’s celebration of water—calling to mind as they do the plugged-in world of computers and television more than the wild world of nature—their joyful spirit is right on target.

A sweet encouragement to play. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-20-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon.

THE LITTLE GARDENER

From the Teenie Greenies series

A young girl watches her garden grow.

Though she's a bit older than the typical board-book audience, her self-reliance makes her an appealing character for toddlers struggling to assert their independence. The strategic use of sturdy flaps provides both peekaboo fun and structure to the storyline. “Yellow daisy. / Red rose. / A bud blooms. / [lift flap] A flower grows.” Some of the interactive elements clearly connect objects to one another (shovel, pail), while other pairings review the progress of the blossoming outdoors. The child enjoys the results of her hard work (smelling a flower has never been so sweet) and waters her lush plants with her pint-sized watering can. Varied vocabulary extends the text. “Harvest carrots / . . . squash and peas. / [lift flap] Pollinated by the bees.” Perhaps due to their having been printed on recycled paper with soy inks, the matte sides of the flaps tend to be darker than the rest, which are glossy.

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93041-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple,...

WHO ARE WE?

AN ANIMAL GUESSING GAME

An engaging, lift-the-flap riddle book that will keep little ones guessing.

The left side of each double-page spread offers a short, rhyming couplet describing a certain type of animal’s movement. For instance, the book begins with: “When we move, we are pretty slow. / Waddling keeps us warm in snow.” On the right side of the page is the question “Who are we?” printed atop a flap. On the edge of each flap is a tab with an arrow as well as a clue to the riddle’s answer. In this case, readers see orange, webbed feet and a white body. Simply lifting the flap reveals the word “Penguins” and three penguins who appear to be waddling across the page, but pulling on the tab in the direction indicated by the arrow reveals a hidden gatefold with another penguin scene and a fun fact: “We penguins have feathers to keep us dry and warm!” In addition to the penguins, readers see giraffes, snakes, arctic foxes and leopards. The rhyming riddles are amusing but not easy; children will need help from the clue on the tab to guess the answers. The appealing illustrations feature frolicking animals and uncluttered, skillfully rendered landscapes.

Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple, interesting animal facts this offering provides. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46762-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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