Interactive, reasonably durable, and (except for that “hive”) respectably informative entries in an above-average series.


From the Pop-Up Peekaboo! series

One Baby Bee” has other creatures to meet before she finds her 10 “buzzy” siblings.

First Baby Bee meets “Two wiggly worms,” passes “Three pretty flowers” to see “Four noisy birds,” and so on—the even-numbered animals all popping up in groups from beneath big, sturdy flaps (puzzlingly, the even numbers are not printed in boldface). Fuzziness rules in the pictures, as the bee (there seems to be only one, multiplied for the final scene) looks like a decorated yellow tennis ball, and, except for a flowerpot, a birdhouse, and nine wooden apples, all of the figures in the sunny garden scenes are crocheted or made from felt or cloth. The “hive” (actually, as is all too common, a wasps’ nest) Baby Bee’s family lives in has a soft, sculptural quality. Materials are more varied in the co-published First Words, in which some three dozen labeled toys, paper images, plastic and plush food, articles of clothing, and fabric play figures (including, as the only humanoid, white “Daisy Dolly”) aim to expand toddlers’ vocabularies significantly. Both volumes sport rounded corners and are printed on heavy, wipeable card stock.

Interactive, reasonably durable, and (except for that “hive”) respectably informative entries in an above-average series. (Pop-up board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6840-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors.


Gorgeous birds amid foliage of similar hues introduce eight basic colors.

The two birds presented on each spread not only are of similar coloration, but also live in the same North American habitat. A scarlet tanager and a cardinal, both male, perch in a red maple tree; a male Eastern bluebird and a blue jay appear with morning glories and blueberries. The name of each color is printed in large font, while the name of each bird is in a much smaller one. Whether the bird shown is male or female, or if the male and female have similar coloring, is also indicated. The names of the trees they perch upon are identified in a note on the back cover. These details will be lost on most toddlers, but caregivers will appreciate being able to answer questions knowledgeably. Colors featured are from the standard box of crayons, except that pink is substituted for purple. Black and white share a spread. The cover image, of a cardinal, goldfinch, and bluebird in a birdbath, is not nearly as inviting as the images within. The final spread shows children (one white, one black, one Asian) assembling a puzzle that includes the same birds. This may serve as a reprise but will probably be skipped over. Bird-loving readers will probably feel that the space could have been put to better use by giving white birds their own page or adding a purple martin.

Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-742-6

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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The titular words are divided by topic with animals participating along the way.

This board book reads exactly as expected. Common “first words” are organized into thematic sections like “toys and games,” “at the park,” and “things that go.” Wide-eyed animals are shown riding on a bus, using the potty, and talking on a cellphone (labeled telephone). All of the scenes and words are fairly predictable, making it familiar to toddlers but not necessarily exposing them to new vocabulary unless this is truly the first of its ilk they are reading. The “parts of the body” pages use three monkeys to demonstrate those parts, omitting tail, ears, and facial features. The choice of monkey rather than human models is an odd one, since this book is meant for very young learners just beginning to name and identify these parts of their own bodies. The “things that go” spread is the most visually interesting—possibly overstimulating for younger readers. There is plenty for caregivers to talk about with children here, in contrast to the bare-bones “clothes” spread, for example. The illustrations are cutesy and two-dimensional. This makes the pictures easy to identify, but it also means they lack detail and complexity. Sturdy and sized for small hands, this book does indeed present 100 words but offers little to make it stand out among the many other similar titles already on shelves.

Does the job. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-687-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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