A movable feast of a board book.

READ REVIEW

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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A gentle underwater excursion.

OCEAN LIFE

From the Hello World! series

An ocean-themed entry in the Hello World series.

A white youngster with long hair sporting a swim mask encourages little ones to “Dive in and take a look!” at ocean life. Each double-page spread presents a different marine animal, including whales, dolphins, sharks, an octopus, a crab and a lobster, sea turtles, fish, and jellyfish. Two or three conversationally conveyed facts of interest are included per double-page spread, one of which is usually in a smaller type and marked with an asterisk for obscure reasons. “What’s that? It’s a sea horse? It can quickly change colors to blend with the background, helping it hide from enemies,” reads the larger text in one representative spread, while the text in the smaller font reads, “A sea horse father carries eggs in a pouch until they are ready to hatch.” A trio of children, all of whom have light complexions, build a sand castle on the beach and collect shells to highlight the wide variety of the latter that can be found. McDonald’s jewel-toned art has the look of watercolor and is appropriately watery and accessible. The final pages allow children to reflect on their favorite ocean animal as the art reviews all the creatures depicted.

A gentle underwater excursion. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-57877-2

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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With its companion, a vibrantly illustrated, expertly written offering for young animal lovers.

PETS

From the Hello World! series

Learn about domestic animals in the latest addition to McDonald’s Hello World! series.

Whether they are wild or domesticated, animals are fascinating creatures. In this cheery outing, McDonald introduces young readers to a variety of animals that live with humans, including rabbits, cats, frogs, and dogs. Companion title Arctic Animals, on the other hand, focuses on the wild and wonderful creatures that live in the world’s coldest, northernmost region, including polar bears, narwhals, snowy owls, and puffins. McDonald’s talent for curating relevant, fascinating, and child-friendly facts is fully on display in both of these volumes. Both books focus mostly on the physical characteristics of the animals and birds, pairing the descriptions with textured, collage-style illustrations that also enliven the type, particularly in cases of onomatopoeia. Arctic Animals simply and clearly introduces concepts like hibernation and camouflage while Pets provides a bit of specific information about how to care for the animals depicted. It also includes questions on each two-page spread that invite children to participate in the storytelling by moving their bodies like the pets they are reading about: Readers are asked to “twitch” their noses like rabbits, “stretch” like cats, and “hop” like frogs. Both books are excellent choices for budding naturalists, zookeepers, veterinarians, and pet owners.

With its companion, a vibrantly illustrated, expertly written offering for young animal lovers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64759-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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