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Look around and see all there is to see! (Picture book. 2-4)

Dance, sing and look around!

A mother and her baby dance and sing together while looking out the window into the vibrant garden below over the course of a few hours. The whimsical chant-and-play pages are replete with onomatopoeia ("Let's go, baby-o, / you and me. / To the wibble, / To the wobble, / To the cha-cha-cha," they chant as they imitate a cat about to pounce). They alternate with a depiction of the mother and her son looking into the garden, accompanied by the lines, “Look out the window. What can you see?” Young readers will find the goings-on in the garden hard to resist, as they spot the different actions, changes and details. This tale is meant to be interactive, and adult readers are encouraged to create their own jingles and dances and to question their youngsters in a note on the first page. Colorful illustrations with just the right amount of detail contrast the cozy indoor world of mother and son with that of the riotous garden outside. Though the rhythm here is sometimes a little bumpy and uneven, this simple and understated selection is a good choice for encouraging the young to dance, sing, observe and comment on the world around them.

Look around and see all there is to see! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-174237-564-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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A gentle outing for children who are ready for stories of everyday life rather than just objects to name.

A brief rhyming board book for toddlers.

Spurr's earlier board books (In the Garden and At the Beach, both 2012; In the Woods, 2013) featured an adventuresome little boy. Her new slice-of-life story stars an equally joyful little girl who takes pleasure in flying a new kite while not venturing far off the walkway. Oliphant's expressive and light-filled watercolors clearly depict the child's emotions—eager excitement on the way to the park, delight at the kite's flight in the wind, shock when the kite breaks free, dejection, and finally relief and amazement. The rhymes work, though uneven syllable counts in some stanzas interrupt the smooth flow of the verse. The illustrations depict the child with her mass of windblown curls, brown skin, and pronounced facial features as African-American. Her guardian (presumably her mother) is also brown-skinned. It is refreshing to see an African-American family settled comfortably in a suburban setting with single-family homes and a park where the family dog does not need to be leashed.

A gentle outing for children who are ready for stories of everyday life rather than just objects to name. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56145-854-7

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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