While this title is a strong choice for learning about shapes, there are better options for opposites than its companion

SNAP

A PEEK-THROUGH BOOK OF OPPOSITES

From the My Little World series

Various animals take turns leading readers in a game of finding shapes that match.

Bright, bold images of animals accompany rhyming couplets. For example: “Dolphin dives into the sea / and spots a spinning star. / Now try to find another one. / Look closely. It’s not far!” The illustrations feature a dolphin and starfish on the left and an assortment of sea creatures with different shapes for the bodies, including a die-cut star, on the right. These cutouts neatly serve to reinforce the concepts being presented. The “Peek-through” device is not nearly so successful in companion title Tall and Short, which illustrates some basic opposites such as big/small, fast/slow and hot/cold: “Giraffe is tall,” and “Dog is short,” for example, or “Elephants are trumpeting: young and old.” The images are appealing, and they successfully convey the concepts presented. However, here the die cuts are a distraction at best and confusing at worst, since the cutouts are apparently arbitrary shapes and colors, entirely unrelated to the concepts presented.

While this title is a strong choice for learning about shapes, there are better options for opposites than its companion . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58925-566-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)

QUIET!

From the Child's Play Library series

This picture book’s title belies its gently noisy contents.

The first-person text follows a child with light-brown skin and a mop of dark curly hair who takes readers throughout the family home and listens to all of the sounds therein. Neither text nor art provides a definite gender designation for the toddler, though a father and baby brother who share the same hair color and texture are identified as male. Race is similarly left ambiguous, with skin tones varying from page to page and no clear statement to specify race or ethnicity in the text. What is clear is that this child is comfortable and secure in Dad’s loving care and with the gentle companionship of a pet dog and cat in addition to the baby brother. Brightly colored interior scenes, together with occasional spreads with a minimal background that set objects and characters against the white of the page, invite readers to observe the many objects throughout the comfortable, spacious home, which are accompanied by sound effects. “Drip” goes a faucet, “Tingaling” rings a cat toy, “La La La La” sings Dad in a lullaby. And at book’s end, the titular quiet descends as the child drifts off to sleep. Throughout, appealing illustrations work with conversational, onomatopoeic text to engage readers in the tradition of historical “here and now” picture books.

Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-887-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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HOP ALONG BOO, TIME FOR BED

A lullaby sends Belle and her stuffed bunny, Boo, off to sleep.

The book opens with the sentient toy Boo stargazing from a treehouse window while Belle, a white girl with a brown bob, sings a lullaby. She’s in pajamas and ready for bed herself. It becomes unclear whether the ensuing text is in her voice or an omniscient narrator’s as she and Boo make their way to dreamland though a variety of settings evoked by the rhyming verses. Succeeding double-page spreads show scenes of a diverse group of children parading off to bed, with Belle and Boo always present. Some settings in this British import show a mismatch between text and art (“cowboys way out on the prairie” are in a cactus-studded desert), while others disappointingly reinforce stereotypes: a scene about dancers seems to omit all boy characters except for a single blond, white boy at center stage while nine girls stand in the wings, and then tipis show up in a nighttime scene with the children reading around a campfire surrounded by tents of many sorts. There’s no call from the text for their inclusion nor any cultural specificity that suggests a Plains Indian presence or context, which problematically renders the structures playthings verging on fantastic props. Throughout, the rhyming text seems a bit drawn-out, and illustrations verge on the saccharine.

A snooze. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-40833-708-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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