An excellent starter book for those looking to raise their children in a bilingual environment.

READ REVIEW

ABC SPANISH

From the Little Concepts series

Niñas y niños learn their ABCs en español.

A is for ardilla (squirrel) and E is for erizo (hedgehog) in this pastel-colored board book. Each page features a different animal or object with a large, scratchily drawn uppercase letter in the top-left corner. (All the text appears to be hand-drawn and frequently displays irregular use of upper- and lowercase conventions.) The upper-right corner of the page spotlights the item’s Spanish and English names, with Spanish printed large on top and English in a smaller hand beneath. The illustrations are warm and sweet, presenting rounded, friendly figures colored with pastel hues. Even inanimate objects, such as the wafle (waffle) and the uvas (grapes), are given smiling faces and welcoming body language. There are separate entries for N for “niña/niño” (“girl/boy”) and Ñ for ñu (translated as “wildebeest” rather than “gnu”). It appears that X (xilófono) and Y (yak) are as troublesome for abecederaries in Spanish as in English. After the alphabet is finished, the backmatter provides the pronunciation of each letter for non–Spanish speakers and phonetic spelling for each creature along with the further introduction of the sounds ll, ch, and rr. The book is handsomely bound in faux hardcover style, boasting sturdy pages and smooth textures.

An excellent starter book for those looking to raise their children in a bilingual environment. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63322-283-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books.

MY BODY

From the Hello World! series

An introduction to the body for the youngest readers.

It’s an endlessly fascinating topic, but here it is explained in wordy and needlessly exclamatory detail. On the opening spread three children play: One flies a kite, another plays hopscotch, and a third hangs upside down from a branch while the text explains that “your body can do so many things!” Basic facts about each body part are explained on subsequent spreads—more or less. A spread devoted to the belly button gives no hint to its original purpose. A busy park scene with all the characters and summary text that emphasizes the importance of “Lots of sleep, good food, and plenty of exercise” ends this compendium. McDonald’s attempts to be inclusive don’t quite succeed. A brown-skinned boy playing wheelchair basketball is used to explain arm joints, and there are several other children of color in the book. But on the page about hearing, the brown-skinned tot’s prominent ears and his placement in a tree make him look more like a monkey than a child—an unfortunate association. Many spreads include a question that relates to the topic but could also prove distracting. An additional fact on each spread set in a smaller font is clearly for older children or grown-ups, not toddlers.

More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6636-8

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Sweet idea, but these cupcakes are missing some key ingredients.

STIR CRACK WHISK BAKE

A LITTLE BOOK ABOUT LITTLE CAKES

America’s Test Kitchen invites young children to bake pretend cupcakes.

Smiling bowls, cups, and spoons guide would-be cooks through the basic steps of baking. The instructions start out clearly: “First, we gather the ingredients.” Then pretend takes over. Unfortunately, the applike instruction to “Use your finger to drag each one to the counter” makes no sense, as the ingredients don’t actually move, and unlike Hervé Tullet’s books, the page turn does not work the appropriate magic. Nor can the spilled flour on the next page be brushed off. Similarly, swiping a finger around the edge of a bowl will not mix batter, tapping pictures of eggs will not crack them, and bowls of dry and wet ingredients cannot be combined just by shaking them. Finally, after many pretend steps, the child can count down with the timer until the cupcakes are done. On the next spread they are asked to blow on the cakes to cool them enough to frost. Then a bowl of frosting magically arrives, and the child is invited to “dip your fingers in the frosting” to frost each cake. Yes, this is imaginary play. But simple, age-appropriate instructions—measure, mix, pour, bake, frost, sprinkle, enjoy—accompanied by clear illustrations would more effectively entice toddlers into the kitchen than this. Counterintuitively, there is no simple recipe with tips on baking with tots for caregivers.

Sweet idea, but these cupcakes are missing some key ingredients. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7773-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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