An effervescent celebration of play in the early years.

ROSA LOVES CARS

From the All About Rosa series

As with Spanyol’s stellar Clive books, Rosa’s favorite activities buck gender stereotypes.

The toddler races toy cars, jumps monster trucks, and builds a car out of a cardboard box with her buddies in what looks like a day care or preschool setting. Spanyol’s childlike lines, soft palette, and chunky figures are as cheerful as ever. The text is mostly straightforward, simple narration peppered with exclamations from Rosa and her chums: “Rosa and Marcel play in the sandpit. ‘Dig-a-dig, dig-a-dig, scoop!’ sings Rosa.” Rosa has brown skin and black, curly hair, and she wears bright yellow eyeglasses. Her friends include Samira, who uses a wheelchair and is likely of South Asian descent; Mustafa, who appears black; Biba, who has light-brown skin and straight, black hair; and Sarah and Marcel, who both present white. Three other equally charming titles accompany this offering. In Rosa and Her Dinosaurs, the heroine dons a purple dress and plays with a collection of toy dinosaurs. Rosa and her buds (all wearing helmets) roll through the pages of Rosa Rides Her Scooter. And in Rosa Plays Ball, Rosa pushes a cart with various kinds of balls to toss about with her friends outside.

An effervescent celebration of play in the early years. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78628-125-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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While Taro Gomi did this gimmick first and better (Peekaboo, 2013, in English; 1990 in Japan), this is a welcome addition to...

THE EYES GAME

From the Let's Play Games! series

Tullet’s latest interactive creation turns an open book into a game of peekaboo.

With an almond-shaped die-cut eye hole punched through each page, a mask for readers to wear is created across the double-page spread. Little ones and their grown-ups can don two human (both Caucasian) masks, as well as one cat, one robot and three aliens (or are they monsters?). Tullet’s bold colors are present here in his graphically simple and playful cartoons rendered with thick black lines. The minimal text consists of an appropriate greeting from the character in question (“Hello!” “Hey!” “Miiiiiow!”) and a simple, first-person one-liner for the mask wearer to repeat. The choking-hazard warnings that have plagued many of Tullet’s other board-book offerings are absent, a welcome change. As many toddlers can be wary of masks, parents and caregivers should take pains to share this title with sensitivity.

While Taro Gomi did this gimmick first and better (Peekaboo, 2013, in English; 1990 in Japan), this is a welcome addition to the growing number of board books that go masked. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7148-6689-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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GETTING READY

Readers are invited to follow a morning routine, from getting up all the way to leaving the house.

On the cover a pair of human feet look ready to go into a pair of shiny red boots, but as readers open the book it will not be clear if the main character is human or of the teddy-bear variety. Regardless, this touch-and-feel book starts off by having readers touch the soft furry Teddy. This is just the beginning of a series of confusing discrepancies between text and illustrations. The book seems to ask children to help the main character perform a series of activities, such as getting dressed, holding the handles of a sippy cup, brushing teeth, or pushing and pulling the shiny red boots on. Yet in reality all readers can do is touch and feel the different textures. The only true interactivity is pulling the bed covers back, zipping up a jacket, and opening the door at the end of the book. It is doubtful children will find the zipper easy to operate. An easy-to-miss trail of raised dots starts at the bed and runs along every page until it ends at the beginning of a glittery yellow path on the other side of the front door.

Misses the mark. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-886-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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