Instructive and not overwhelming—just right! (Board book. 1-4)

ANATOMY FOR BABIES

From the Baby 101 series

A useful book in the “science for babies” genre that, for once, isn’t way over baby’s head…or shoulders, knees, and toes, either.

Some science board books for toddlers are so relentlessly ambitious they seem aimed at caregivers hellbent on producing the next baby Einstein rather than at kids, but anatomy is a subject in which most any child takes a natural interest. New arrivals to the world typically begin their explorations by investigating their own bodies first. Fittingly, the first body parts named herein are the aforementioned head, shoulders, knees, and toes of the classic children’s song. As an adorably rendered, racially diverse cast of toddlers models each body part under discussion, simple, clear, and enthusiastic statements guide children from the outer extremities to the mysteries within. “Your body is amazing! Think of all the things it can do… // You have a lot of bones!”—as a lab-coated professional X-rays the chest of a child, revealing the ribcage—“They support and protect your body.” The book introduces the brain, muscles (they “help your body move”), and skin (it “keeps your insides in”). The lungs and cardiovascular system are described in easily grasped terms, as is the alimentary canal, the concept of taking energy from food, and eliminating waste (potty-trainees, take note). A description of the senses and sense organs follows.

Instructive and not overwhelming—just right! (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-64877-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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

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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

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