Despite some proportion issues, this is a playful introduction to measurement for older preschoolers and up.

HOW MANY BEADS?

In this “Montessori-inspired” offering, youngsters can “measure, count, and compare” with a string of square beads attached to the book.

Ten colorful, cube-shaped beads are strung together on a thick, blue string (knotted at the end to keep them from falling off) embedded in the back page of the book. A perfectly fitted indentation lets the blocks and string nestle somewhat securely in the back of the book, but the beads are easily displaced, making their use in settings such as libraries problematic. Readers can pull the beads along the cord to measure different items depicted. Each double-page spread presents a different setting (“At home,” “In the sea,” etc.), and gentle prompts in a bold font encourage measuring and comparing: “Which of these is the tallest household object?” In the “Around town” section children can measure pictures of people, a car, a bike, a traffic cone, and a construction crane. The images are not purely proportional, as the 16-story building looks to be only twice as tall as the two-story house. Young children may need help manipulating the beads and making some of the comparisons in the queries, so adult assistance is essential. Surprisingly, readers are not encouraged to measure items in the real world with their beads or any other measuring tool.

Despite some proportion issues, this is a playful introduction to measurement for older preschoolers and up. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-682-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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