Interesting animal facts and beautiful photographs, but despite the title, best suited to preschoolers (who will love it).

READ REVIEW

A BABY LIKE YOU

Animal babies are compared with human babies through selected facts and full-page photos.

Sibert Medalist Thimmesh (Team Moon, 2006) explores the similarities and differences in how human and animal babies do things like eat, walk, learn, and play. On each two-page spread, the narrative portion is set in large, bold type while below it in a smaller font is a specific fact relating to the featured baby. Because the narrative portions run across several page turns, the informational pieces—which serve as asides—disrupt the flow. This issue is mitigated a bit by Thimmesh’s use of the same refrain to begin each new topic: “Each new day, in different ways, a baby like you” signals readers to resume the pace. The informational asides about animals are concise and high interest, and while the human facts will be familiar to adult readers, younger readers are likely to learn something new. The photography is gorgeous, with fuzzy, adorable animal babies and diverse, equally cute human ones. Though this book is addressed to a baby, they are not the appropriate audience. This one is best read to preschoolers who can appreciate the book’s length and details. The phrase “a baby like you” may be a misfit, but the past-tense descriptions of things babies do (like learning to walk) make sense for older readers.

Interesting animal facts and beautiful photographs, but despite the title, best suited to preschoolers (who will love it). (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55312-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Skimpy with just six spreads but, like its companions, a simple, serene seasonal posy.

SUMMER

A POP-UP BOOK

From the Seasons Pop-Up series

Carter completes his round of seasonal tributes with pop-up sprays of luscious-looking small fruits, garden bounty, and bright flowers.

As before, the locale is a generalized western United States, and both early- and late-season flora and foliage are on display in the same scenes. Along with lots of labels for the neatly limned animals and vegetation in each broad, idyllic landscape—from a “cedar waxwing” nibbling on a “cherry” to the marbled-paper “chickens” pecking beneath a tree heavy with ripe apples—he adds leading questions (“Who eats the flowers?” “Who looks like a stick?”) to invite closer looks. Frisky “chipmunks” are named in the first tableau, then visible without an identifier in each of the following five for younger viewers to point out. Highlighted by a spiraling cucumber vine that turns the vegetable garden into a convincing tangle, the pop-ups are simple and (relatively) sturdy but rear gracefully to surprising heights considering the volume’s small trim size.

Skimpy with just six spreads but, like its companions, a simple, serene seasonal posy. (Informational pop-up picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2832-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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