This well-meaning math concept book sinks under the weight of too much information, unevenly conveyed—a washout.

READ REVIEW

BATHTIME MATHTIME SHAPES

Pictures of objects on the front and outlines of shapes on the back of sturdy tabs invite precocious toddlers to open the pages.

Within, four-line rhyming verses that incorporate the titular refrain include a question and hint about an object, usually but not always bath-related, with that shape. Four common shapes—circle, square, triangle and rectangle—begin, respectively paired with “mommy’s pretty ring,” a washcloth, the sail on a toy boat, and a bath towel. From this concrete beginning the concepts grow abruptly more abstract. A charming double-page illustration of the toddler protagonist sitting amid shapes floating in the bathtub accompanies the vague text: “What shapes can the water make? / A heart or star? An oval lake? / Water changes shape—it’s flowing. / Bathtime Mathtime, let’s keep going!” Then one spread and 10 lines of text describe 3-D objects: sphere (a ball), cylinder (a shampoo bottle—notably, not depicted as a cylinder), and cube (blocks). The next spread just shows the light-skinned, pigtailed child splashing in the tub. The note to parents at the end claims that the book will show that bathtime “(including hair washing!)” can be fun, but nowhere in the story are the child’s pigtails taken down, much less shampooed. A final rebus provides a review and hurriedly introduces cone and pyramid shapes.

This well-meaning math concept book sinks under the weight of too much information, unevenly conveyed—a washout. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-93396-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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While the likely answer is no, this offering is still a visually captivating delight for careful little ones. (Board book....

ALPHABLOCK

From the Block Books series

In this ABC book, shaped pages lead readers to corresponding objects.

The usual alphabet objects are presented here in the straightforward text: “A IS FOR... // APPLE.” The graphically appealing design devotes two double-page spreads to each letter. In the first spread, the right-hand side is a full-size, die-cut letter, while the left depicts a scene. A portion of the object, animal or person the featured letter stands for peeks through the die-cut openings; a cheery, red octopus smiles through the hole of the “O,” and the tail of a fish is visible from behind the “F.” Once the letter/page is turned, the background from the previous left-hand page blends seamlessly with the full double-page spread that’s revealed. The visual hints provide a playful guessing game for young readers, with a nice balance of the easily recognizable (the nose of a train emerges from behind the “T”) to the slightly more challenging (the handle of a pair of scissors sticks out from the middle of the “S”). With a pleasing, retro feel, Peskimo’s art uses bold colors in a slightly muted hue and the weathered look of woodblock prints. The book’s construction is the only real concern, as 104 board pages are a lot for any binding. Will the die-cut letters survive the vigorous page turns of doubtless eager readers?

While the likely answer is no, this offering is still a visually captivating delight for careful little ones. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0936-4

Page Count: 104

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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