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

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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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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Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed.

CIRCLE UNDER BERRY

Nine basic shapes in vivid shifting colors are stacked on pages in various permutations.

This visually striking and carefully assembled collection of shapes, which seems to have been inspired by an Eric Carle aesthetic, invites young children to put their observation, categorization, problem-solving, color, and spatial-relation skills to work, pondering shapes and compositions—and even learning about prepositions in the process. As the text says, “a stack of shapes can make you think and wonder what you see.” First, readers see a circle under a strawberry (the red diamond with a leafy, green top and yellow-triangle seeds) and then that berry over a green square. The orange oval made to look like a fish is added to a stack of three shapes to become “yellow over diamond under guppy over green.” And so on. The metamorphosis of many of these simple shapes into animals (a yellow circle becomes a lion; a green square, a frog; a pink heart, a pig; a yellow diamond, a chicken) will surprise and delight children. Questions are directed at readers: Is a square with two round eyes and semicircle feet a “frog or square or green?” Why, all of the above! The text possesses a pleasing rhythm and subtle rhymes, positively begging to be read aloud: “circle next to berry / square by bear by sweet // blue up high / pig down low / yellow in between.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-79720-508-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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