Real food may not be “required,” but only the most unfeeling caregiver would fail to provide it after such an appetizing...

PANCAKES!

AN INTERACTIVE RECIPE BOOK

From the Cook in a Book series

With help from sliders and spinners, even the youngest sous-chefs can pretend to mix ingredients, pour batter, and dish up a yummy pancake.

The first in a projected Cook in a Book series, this toddler-level recipe promises “full interaction and satisfaction” with “no food required!” Nieminen lays out all the required ingredients and kitchen equipment, then uses the latter to pour and blend and whisk the former in proper order. The images are so simplified that some really need their accompanying captions to recognize (a flat yellow rectangle doesn’t look much like “2 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter,” for instance, and the “1 greased frying pan” is just a filled-in circle with a green bar for a handle). A slider allows readers to “add the flour” on one side of the page and “pour the milk” on the other, while a spinner allows them to whisk and stir. One of the two silver-dollar–sized pancakes in the pan is a cutout round that can be flipped “when the tops begin to bubble” and, when done, lifted out and pressed onto a plate on the next page—all ready for syrup, fruit, or other condiment. “Delicious!”

Real food may not be “required,” but only the most unfeeling caregiver would fail to provide it after such an appetizing teaser. (Informational novelty. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7148-7283-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.

MY FIRST BUSY BOOK

From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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