A solid-enough step into the French language.

ABC FRENCH

TAKE A FUN JOURNEY THROUGH THE ALPHABET AND LEARN SOME FRENCH!

From the Little Concepts series

Little ones learn their ABCs en français.

The French vocabulary for little readers’ favorite animals is the focus of this board book. Each page features a charmingly illustrated animal with their French designation in bold and the English translation below. The alphabetization is based on the French vocabulary, so A is for abeille (bee), P is for poule (hen), V is for vache (cow), and so forth. Some explanation of why these familiar animals are not filing under their customary, English letters will be in order, and such cognates as dauphin, éléphant, and hippopotame will provide further opportunities for discussion about language nuance. There is no pronunciation guide, so success depends on caregivers’ pre-existing understanding of French. The bright, rounded animal illustrations will easily draw in even the youngest readers, and the bold, circus-style typography is certainly a plus. The book’s final pages feature all the animals in an alphabetical parade. Despite the title’s emphasis on the ABCs, this book will work best for those toddlers who’ve mastered their ABCs and are looking to expand their vocabularies.

A solid-enough step into the French language. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63322-412-4

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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