Googly eyes aside, an upbeat, science-based primer of human anatomy.


From the Baby University series

A friendly introduction to the annual medical checkup for little ones.

In one to two second-person paragraphs per double-page spread, the chatty narration describes the various tests doctors perform while indicating the body part each is meant to examine. Simple diagrams appear against white backgrounds to illustrate the concepts and feature faceless silhouettes of toddler bodies in a variety of skin tones accompanied by simple representations of internal organs. Medical instruments, such as a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer (or blood-pressure cuff), float among the text and diagrams, sometimes commenting on the narration in the fashion of a Greek chorus. Several of these instruments and a good number of the internal organs, like the heart and lungs, have googly eyes, expressive eyebrows, and cutesy mouths. Presumably this is intended to give this fictional visit to the doctor a lighthearted air, but the device could be confusing to literal-minded youngsters. The spread on vaccines (a representative virus particle within the serum also has googly eyes, plus a superhero cape) reassuringly states that: “Most vaccines are shots, so it might hurt a little, but only for a second. Take a deep breath and know you are brave for keeping your body safe!” While this offering doesn’t show the actual doctors, waiting rooms, or examination tables that most going-to-the-doctor books include, it does provide answers to many of the “why” questions older toddlers and preschoolers express.

Googly eyes aside, an upbeat, science-based primer of human anatomy. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-9399-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple,...


A cheerful brown bunny hiding behind the edges of an Easter basket looks just as surprised as young children will be to find the chicks revealed as each egg “hatches.”

With help from a reading partner, young children are encouraged to count down the eggs as they disappear with each page turn. Alternatively, they can count up as the chicks are revealed. A simple phrase at the top of each right-hand page states the number of eggs in the basket. The line at the bottom (half of a rhyming couplet) tells how many chicks readers should look for. The numbers are spelled out, requiring young children to recognize the word instead of the more familiar numeral. On the left-hand page, the spaces previously occupied by an egg begin to fill with meadow plants and critters, eventually becoming a scene as busy and cheerful as a greeting card. This book begs to be touched. Each egg is made of shaped plastic that protrudes through die-cut holes on the verso; they can be pressed but seem to be securely anchored. The pastel chicks are lightly flocked, providing an additional tactile experience. Although the pages are thicker than paper, young fingers may find the holes a convenient way to grip (and possibly tear) the pages.

There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple, nonreligious holiday book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-74730-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.


From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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