Make space on the bookshelf for this engaging title.

HONK, HONK, VROOM, VROOM

SOUNDS FROM THE CITY

From the Tough to Tear series

Onomatopoeic words representing city sounds invite children to guess what they are.

A completely black double-page spread with the words “Did you hear that?” printed in white starts the book and sets the tone. There will be no visual cues here, just an array of onomatopoeic words that prompt guesses. Some are easy: “Honk,” “vroom,” “beep,” and “zoom” clearly lead to cars. But others, such as “hustle,” “bustle,” “march,” “talk,” “walk,” and “go,” will make them think a little more before they turn the page to learn that it’s a group of lively pedestrians. Grown-ups reading with young children can help the game—and have fun along the way—by reading expressively, aided by the printing of key words in colored type. While the pages with the clues present colorful words simply set against a plain white background, the pages with the answers offer an explosion of bright, vibrant, and stylized mixed-media images portraying a diverse cast of city dwellers. Companion volume Rumble, Rumble, Grumble, Grumble shares the same presentation and concept, but the sounds here are related to nature. Both books have plenty of vocabulary-building heft, adding value to the guessing game: “screeching,” “shrieking,” and “hissing,” to name a few. The pages are made of a tear-resistant substance, making these good choices to take toddlers from board books to picture books.

Make space on the bookshelf for this engaging title. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1657-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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So rocket science can be fun.

BABY LOVES SCIENTISTS

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING!

From the Baby Loves… series

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If they haven’t already thought about their futures (and they probably haven’t), toddlers and preschoolers might start planning after perusing this cheerful first guide to scientific careers. Plump-cheeked, wide-eyed tykes with various skin and hair colors introduce different professions, including zoologist, meteorologist, aerospace engineer, and environmental scientist, depicted with cues to tip readers off to what the jobs entail. The simple text presents the sometimes-long, tongue-twisting career names while helpfully defining them in comprehensible terms. For example, an environmental scientist “helps take care of our world,” and a zoologist is defined as someone who “studies how animals behave.” Scientists in general are identified as those who “study, learn, and solve problems.” Such basic language not only benefits youngsters, but also offers adults sharing the book easy vocabulary with which to expand on conversations with kids about the professions. The title’s ebullient appearance is helped along by the typography: The jobs’ names are set in all caps, printed in color and in a larger font than the surrounding text, and emphasized with exclamation points. Additionally, the buoyant watercolors feature clues to what scientists in these fields work with, such as celestial bodies for astronomers. The youngest listeners won’t necessarily get all of this, but the book works as a rudimentary introduction to STEM topics and a shoutout to scientific endeavors.

So rocket science can be fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62354-149-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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