Young readers can practice observational and organizational skills with this clever book that masquerades as a game.

FOOD HIDE AND SNEAK

As the Sesame Street song goes: “One of these things is not like the others, / One of these things just doesn’t belong, / Can you tell which thing is not…?”

Indeed, this mostly wordless book introduces readers to the spot-the-odd-one-out game with a play on those words. Using a limited palette of pink, green, and brown against a white background, each (mostly) double-page spread displays a group of objects of similar shape and color. One object that just doesn’t belong has been cleverly snuck into each grouping. As the title suggests, the groupings are all food related—though with candy, ice cream, and sodas included, “edibles” might be a better word. Sometimes it can be function that marks the odd one out, as with the road sign that sneakily stands among the candy and lollipops or the rocket ship that looks so much like the bottles and containers of drinks. In other instances it’s a different category of food, as with the banana among the meats. But each spread provides a rich opportunity for adults to engage children in examining, describing, and discussing categories. Should there be questions about the correct answers, the last double-page spread has a visual key.

Young readers can practice observational and organizational skills with this clever book that masquerades as a game. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7148-7723-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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