Wedding elegant design with witty and funny rhymes and challenging children to play with words make this book a winner.

READ REVIEW

RHYME FLIES

A book of rhyming fun for young vocabulary sophisticates.

Just from the quirky title and illustration—a winged alarm clock—on the cover, readers get a hint of the delightful rhymes to be found inside. Bold, colorful graphics, emphasized by the liberal use of black and framed with plenty of white, present an object on the right-hand page while the text on the left identifies it. The objects are mainly run-of-the-mill: “Alarm Clock,” “Fresh Orange Juice,” “Fingernails,” “Fluffy Bath Towel.” The fun starts when readers unfold the gatefold pages beneath the illustrations to discover the object transformed by a very clever rhyming counterpart. “Fresh Orange Juice” becomes “Fresh Orange Goose” (the goose pokes its head out from a glass of orange liquid), and “Fluffy Bath Towel” becomes “Fluffy Bath Owl” (a cross-looking blue owl hangs from a towel rod). Once children have caught on to the rhyming nonsense, the gatefold design will give them time to come up with their own rhymes before revealing the one in the book. Children will squirm in delight when “Cheese on Toast” becomes “Sneeze on Toast” or “Fingernails” become “Fingersnails,” and what child will not salivate at the thought of a “Spoon of Marmalade” becoming “Moon and Starmalade”? The different glimpses of a human—a face, a hand, feet—in the illustrations are of a white person.

Wedding elegant design with witty and funny rhymes and challenging children to play with words make this book a winner. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7148-7639-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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