Quibbles aside, the whole whimsical package is a visually pleasing introduction to rainbow colors for toddlers.

MY RAINBOW SURPRISE

Little ones learn some basic colors.

Despite what the title says, there’s really no surprise. This whole board book makes a rainbow. The small, smiling, white, scalloped cloud that is the front cover opens to reveal a somewhat larger quarter circle of red. Each successively larger quarter circle (pages are reinforced with foam) opens to uncover the next color of the rainbow. With only six color-specific spreads, there is no room for both indigo and violet, so the more-common term “purple” has been substituted. This divergence from the common mnemonic (ROYGBIV) is acceptable considering the age of the intended audience, and the final double-page spread, which reproduces the rainbow with all seven colors, offers opportunities for motivated caregivers to explore further. As is common in books about color, the name of the color is printed in it on each page and is accompanied by the names and pictures of objects commonly associated with that color. The examples for red (apple and firetruck) and green (grass and frog) make perfect sense. But “the bill of a duck” (the fowl is distractingly green, popping against the orange of the background) for orange, “the fur of a dog” for yellow, and a whale for blue may be more confusing than edifying for literal-minded 2-year-olds. And butterflies and flowers come in many colors, not just purple.

Quibbles aside, the whole whimsical package is a visually pleasing introduction to rainbow colors for toddlers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-11098-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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