Hands down, this subject is a poor choice for a board format.

LEFT HAND RIGHT HAND

This hand-shaped effort describes the purpose and power behind people's hands.

Wordy spreads discuss the differences between right and left, challenging readers to examine them and use them in a variety of ways. The text is utterly at odds developmentally with the toddling audience. “Cross your wrists so that your RIGHT hand is now on the LEFT and your LEFT hand is now on the RIGHT.” The text asks the child listeners to place their hands over the front and back covers (in the shape of two hands) to distinguish their right from left. Unfortunately, the pages' shapes are the opposite inside, so the "right hand" appears on the left side when facing readers. A hodgepodge of instructions and vignettes clutters the already cramped pages. Tiny cartoon illustrations sometimes appear odd and even disconcerting in context. “Do any of your other fingers do special things? We use our forefinger to say, be quiet!” The corresponding image depicts a slouching boy with trumpet in hand; a woman towers over him with her shaking finger in an angry reprimand.

Hands down, this subject is a poor choice for a board format. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7641-6517-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple,...

TEN EASTER EGGS

A cheerful brown bunny hiding behind the edges of an Easter basket looks just as surprised as young children will be to find the chicks revealed as each egg “hatches.”

With help from a reading partner, young children are encouraged to count down the eggs as they disappear with each page turn. Alternatively, they can count up as the chicks are revealed. A simple phrase at the top of each right-hand page states the number of eggs in the basket. The line at the bottom (half of a rhyming couplet) tells how many chicks readers should look for. The numbers are spelled out, requiring young children to recognize the word instead of the more familiar numeral. On the left-hand page, the spaces previously occupied by an egg begin to fill with meadow plants and critters, eventually becoming a scene as busy and cheerful as a greeting card. This book begs to be touched. Each egg is made of shaped plastic that protrudes through die-cut holes on the verso; they can be pressed but seem to be securely anchored. The pastel chicks are lightly flocked, providing an additional tactile experience. Although the pages are thicker than paper, young fingers may find the holes a convenient way to grip (and possibly tear) the pages.

There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple, nonreligious holiday book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-74730-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters.

COUNTABLOCK

From the Block Books series

Shaped pages help youngsters count to 10 and beyond.

Two stylish double-page spreads are devoted to each number one through 10 and then, counting by 10s, to 100. In the first spread, the right-hand side is a page-high, die-cut numeral that spills off the page; to its left, a squirrel holds an acorn. With the turn of the page, there’s a transformation. “One acorn becomes… / one oak tree!” A portion of the object, animal or person being altered is visible through the die-cut openings; a sand castle peeks through the “0” of the number 10, for instance. Once the page is turned, the background from the previous left-hand page merges with the full double-page spread. As in the earlier Alphablock (2013), the helpfulness of these visual hints is uneven. After 10, 20 caterpillars become 20 butterflies, 30 baskets of cucumbers become 30 jars of pickles, and 40 eggs become 39 chicks and one dinosaur. The whole shebang ends with 100 puzzle pieces fitting together into “one big puzzle!” in the book’s only double gatefold. Peskimo’s muted color palette and droll cartoon style works well with the playful concept. The same worries about the binding that arose with Alphablock are an issue here, but the conceit will likely appeal to older children anyway.

An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1374-3

Page Count: 94

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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