WHAT SIZE?

MacKinnon and Sieveking have collaborated on a crisply designed look at comparisons (the companion titles are What's Inside?, What Color?, What Shape?, How Many?, and What Noise?). The content, aimed at toddlers, shows big and little, thick and thin, tall and small, etc., with an activity or playtime taking place on the lefthand pages. On the right, the paired words appear in a framed white box above comparisons so readers can guess, for example, which chair is the highest. Adults may think they've seen it all before, but Sieveking's engaging, multiracial cast of children absorbed in play is dressed in colors as bright and sparkling as a bowl of Jell-O, and the book goes down just as easily. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-8037-1745-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Deceptively simple, with innovative illustrations and a catchy narrative, this book adeptly supplies information, a sense of...

SOME BUGS

A picture book that capers with joy in the buggy natural world.

With minimal words cajoled into loose rhyme—they have just enough structure to hold their own within the sprawling illustrations—each page of this ebullient book introduces a different bug’s proclivity (“Some bugs STING. Some bugs BITE”) while a small ladybug saunters past, serving as a cohesive visual element. (“Bug” is loosely construed to include many insects and arachnids.) The mixed-media illustrations play with form and white space, while the artistic-license black-and-white eyes of all the bugs cleverly draw readers’ gazes toward them, encouraging close examination. The second-to-final spread—a long shot—reveals to readers that the earlier illustrations in the book are actually close-ups of a single backyard. This visual surprise encourages the friendly accessibility of readers’ own backyards as habitats to explore. Only one jarring note disturbs the joyful tone of this book, and that is the indirect permission it gives to readers to capture these critters. As there is no textual exhortation to take care and let the creatures go after examining them, adults will need to underscore this independently.

Deceptively simple, with innovative illustrations and a catchy narrative, this book adeptly supplies information, a sense of accessibility, close looking and joie de vivre. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5880-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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