To become coders, babies need to play with sequences, patterns, language, and logic—but not this book.

BABY CODE!

From the Girls Who Code series

Another book that aims to jump-start toddlers’ STEM careers.

Using retro-style art and coding syntax well beyond a toddler’s comprehension, this board book tries to simplify the complex language of code. The pale-skinned girl clad in polka-dot onesies is certainly cute, maybe even gifted, but that doesn’t mean she can understand the principles of coding. The selected real-world examples of coding are valid. Baby telling a dog what to do and code telling computers what to do are parallel constructs. The problem is that babies, no matter how much we want them to, cannot yet comprehend such abstract concepts. Girls (and boys) need real experience with the real world before they can begin to understand command language. The insertion of speech bubbles with “real code” near pictures of computerized toys (“train.go[ ]”) or tools (“repeat 3: phone.ring[ ]”) is simply clutter on the page and will not help babies who are still puzzling out the physical mechanics of the world understand how these devices work. Encouraging young girls to explore technology is certainly a worthy goal, but a board book marketed under the Girls Who Code umbrella will not do the job.

To become coders, babies need to play with sequences, patterns, language, and logic—but not this book. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-54257-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A movable feast of a board book.

LET'S GROW VEGETABLES!

A board book with movable parts, especially for little gardeners.

Equipped with a built-in handle, the book’s sturdy pages open top to bottom to display a vertically oriented spread depicting an up-close view of soil being readied for planting. Tabs push and pull to reveal a garden claw (labeled on the page) moving through the dirt, and then seeds in die-cut holes appear in another area. There are no human characters in the book, which underscores the interactivity demanded of the reader-as-gardener, but worms, bees, ladybugs, birds, butterflies, and a bunny enliven the spreads. Flaps and other movable parts on ensuing pages allow readers to water plants and to make them seem to grow as well as simulating other gardening activities such as staking tomato plants and weeding and thinning plots. The culminating spread moves from the garden into the house, where vegetables are peeled and shelled to be put into a cooking pot, and the final picture depicts a compost bin for the resulting scraps that will break down for use in the garden. Most parts of the book are impressively durable, and the bold illustrations and inviting interactivity successfully present gardening as the physical, rewarding activity it can be.

A movable feast of a board book. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 979-1-02760-367-1

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Attractive, interactive, and informative. A winner all around.

FOREST

From the Animal Families series

Little ones learn about some forest-animal families in this lift-the-flap board book.

Introducing four animals that can be found in a North American forest, the book teaches young readers that there’s more to identifying them than just naming the animal species. For example: “A mommy fox is called a vixen. A daddy fox is called a dog. Baby foxes are called… / kits!” Double-page spreads introduce each one of the four animals: foxes, deer, rabbits, and bears. The “mommy” is on one side, the “daddy” on the other; lift the shaped right-hand flap, and the baby information is revealed. A striking gatefold ending reveals there is even more to learn: “There are also names for animal families. Groups of these animals are called… / a skulk of foxes.” The screen-printed illustrations use plenty of eye-catching neon pink for a very attractive effect. Companion book Safari introduces four African animals: leopards, zebras, lions, and rhinos. The format and sentence structure is the same as in Forest, though here the color playing the lead role is a warm and glowing yellow with an equally attractive effect. Limiting the books to just four animals each makes them very accessible to the youngest readers; the more verbal preschoolers might take a step further and find themselves asking if the same also applies to other species.

Attractive, interactive, and informative. A winner all around. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1198-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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