A lightweight way to familiarize English-speaking youngsters with a few simple Spanish words.

READ REVIEW

WHO AM I?

A LET'S LEARN SPANISH BOOK

Six rhymes and six flaps introduce six animals by their Spanish names: gato, perro, pájaro, ratón, conejo, and ardilla (cat, dog, bird, mouse, rabbit, and squirrel).

On the left-hand page of each spread, one rhyming couplet and the first line of a second describe common behavior and characteristics of an animal. On the recto, a declarative statement printed on a flap offers a bit more description. Lift the flap to see the animal and to complete the rhyme with the animal’s name in Spanish; an English translation appears below. For example, on the left: “I wag my tail, then leap and bark / and run with you out in the park. / I jump and catch the balls you throw.” Then on the right: “I am your frisky brown [lift the flap] perro. // Perro means dog.” The final spread presents all six animals with their Spanish names and phonetic pronunciations. Sanchez’s illustrations are simple cartoon drawings decorated with visual clues to the animal being described (balls of yarn and paw prints for the cat, bones, chew toys, and balls for the dog, etc.). Similarly, each flap is shaped like an item associated with that animal (cheese for the mouse, a carrot for the rabbit). This very elementary introduction to some child-friendly vocabulary is the first in a planned series of Let’s Learn Spanish books for very young children.

A lightweight way to familiarize English-speaking youngsters with a few simple Spanish words. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2667-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Good intentions gone wrong.

BABY LOVES GRAVITY!

From the Baby Loves… series

A baby and a dog discover gravity in this appealingly illustrated, developmentally inappropriate book.

This and Baby Loves Coding are the latest offerings in the Baby Loves Science series of board books. These cute but overzealous attempts to create STEM students from children fresh from the womb seem aimed more at pushy parents than at doctoral candidates in diapers. Previous volumes have featured toddlers who love quarks, aerospace engineering, thermodynamics, and quantum physics. The contents of this book have been vetted for scientific accuracy; one wonders whether the creative team also vetted the practical value of teaching preschoolers to parrot answers to questions they’re ill-equipped to pose or indeed comprehend: “Why does a noodle fall? / Because of gravity!” Babies will have observed the central action this book presents—the fall to the floor of some tidbit from their highchair trays—over and over, but does “When Baby drops something, the earth pulls it down” adequately describe the phenomenon? For a toddler audience, even simple explanations of the science in this book require more exposition than board books allow and raise more questions than they answer. “Everything is made of matter. The amount of matter is called mass.” OK, what is matter? And if gravity makes spaghetti fall to Earth, why does it make the moon go around it? The baby has brown skin and tightly curled black hair.

Good intentions gone wrong. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-836-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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

BABY'S FIRST BOOK OF BIRDS & 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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