When there are so many titles available that provide counting practice without sacrificing engaging text and illustrations,...

FIVE LITTLE SNOWMEN

An interactive counting book featuring five playful snowmen.

A long rectangular shape is cut through the book so that readers can see and manipulate, from every double-page spread, five numbered snowmen who slide from one side of the row to the other for counting practice. Text in a fairly small font offers a perfunctory story about a robin helping a snowman to find a friend, after which three more snowmen join them in winter play. Boldface text beneath the rectangular window lets children know when they should move another snowman from left to right as they count to five; they can then move them all back to the left again to start the game anew. The serviceable story and illustrations both seem to have been crafted in support of the “slide and count” element of the text. Unfortunately, this idea falls flat in execution because when the book is tilted in any direction, the snowmen slide back and forth willy-nilly, disrupting the counting process. Companion title Five Christmas Reindeer is very similar, inviting children to count the reindeer as they prepare to help Santa deliver presents.

When there are so many titles available that provide counting practice without sacrificing engaging text and illustrations, this simply doesn’t make the cut. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0170-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more