Visually appealing, this offering will provide some enjoyable practice in categorizing, sorting and identifying differences.

READ REVIEW

BIG AND SMALL

From the Odd One Out series

This large, sturdy board book offers plenty of seek-and-find fun.

Each double-page spread is covered by a group of endearing, almost-identical animals and features questions designed to prompt readers to sort them and spot their differences. The initial pages, for instance, feature 11 very similar elephants and the questions: “Who has a curly little tail? And who is ready to go to a party? Who is big and who is small?” Children will easily divide the elephants into the categories of big and small, but they will need to look more closely to find the elephant with the curly tail and the one wearing a party hat. Each spread asks readers to identify different aspects or features of the animals, but there is always a partygoing creature to spot. In addition to finding the partygoer, the page of zebras asks children to find the happy and sad zebra and, rather surprisingly, the one “who just went to the bathroom.” The companion volume, In, Out, and All Around, follows a similar format, except that it focuses on relationships such as in, on, over and across instead of opposites. The translation (from the original Dutch) results in some awkward phrasing, but the point is always clear.

Visually appealing, this offering will provide some enjoyable practice in categorizing, sorting and identifying differences. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60537-149-8

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life.

PANTONE COLOR PUZZLES

6 COLOR-MATCHING PUZZLES

Another overdesigned board book, with puzzle pieces this time, from PANTONE, the company that creates the widely used color matching system.

Each double-page spread focuses on one color of the rainbow. The left-hand side is a full-page, graphically minded scene using a variety of hues of the color in question. On the facing pages, the PANTONE chips make their appearance, four shades occupying the four quadrants of the page separated by a bold white line in typical PANTONE fashion. Both sides of each page spread carry four shaped indentations to hold abstract puzzle shapes made of paperboard. Featuring machines that go on the left, the red spread has pieces that become the door and siren on a fire truck. These same pieces fit into slots labeled “Stop Sign Red / PANTONE 485” and “Brick Red / PANTONE 7627” on the right. While the cartoon tableaux are droll, the use of PANTONE numbers will make little sense to youngsters. The puzzle pieces themselves are relatively easy to get in and out once loosened, but, after a few readings, they will likely flake at the edges if they are not lost altogether. The small pieces force this message on the back cover: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0939-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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