Adults looking to engage little ones in early math concepts will not be disappointed.

UP TO MY KNEES!

From the Storytelling Math series

A child uses a familiar standard to measure and compare the growth of a seed.

It is spring, and a child is in the garden planting a sunflower seed. Eventually, after adding dirt, water, sun, and time, the seed sprouts. Bit by bit the seed reaches toe height, then knees, waist, and shoulders. By summer, the plant is taller than the child and produces a giant sunflower. The backmatter explains that these types of experiences will help children understand measuring tools later on. A “Try This!” section offers a few suggestions to encourage further activities to help children grasp the concepts of size and measurement. Other books in the series are Circle! Sphere! (readers learn about shapes as a group of children blow bubbles); The Last Marshmallow (division and fractions are simply presented when two children with a cup of hot cocoa each must figure out how to share three marshmallows); and What Will Fit? (spatial sense is explored as a child at the farmers market decides what will fit best in the basket). All books have a brief explanation of the math concept presented and a concluding section with suggestions for further related activities. Multiaward-winning Lin presents the concepts in easy-to-understand short sentences paired with simple and attractive illustrations. The children depicted are Black and Asian.

Adults looking to engage little ones in early math concepts will not be disappointed. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62354-123-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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