This positive compendium of possibilities should encourage children to embrace their paths, wherever they lead.

READ REVIEW

ABC WHAT CAN HE BE?

BOYS CAN BE ANYTHING THEY WANT TO BE, FROM A TO Z

Appealing illustrations and a multiracial cast give kids an opportunity to picture themselves in an array of career roles that run the gamut from A to Z.

Like the earlier ABC What Can She Be? (2018), this follow-up is designed to stimulate a child’s imagination and broaden their sense of the possibilities before them. The overall message is stated plainly on the cover: “Boys can be anything they want to be, from A to Z.” There’s a deliberate gender neutrality in the selection of career roles depicted even as the masculine pronoun is repeated over and over. “A is for Astronaut. He blasts into space to explore new worlds” is followed by “B is for Ballet Dancer. He gracefully dances with leaps and turns. He is so flexible and strong.” Other occupations presented include environmental engineer, fashion designer, jet pilot, karate instructor, nurse, quantum physicist, race car driver, yoga instructor, and xenobiologist (less obvious than X-ray technician, if a bit esoteric), to name a few. The artwork and lettering are brightly colored; the illustrations make each occupation look appealing and often exciting. The word “HE,” when it introduces each job description, appears in varying colorful letters suggestive of the rainbow pride flag, perhaps to underscore the book’s message of inclusivity. Caregivers of nonbinary kids will be hoping, however, for a forthcoming ABC What Can They Be?

This positive compendium of possibilities should encourage children to embrace their paths, wherever they lead. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63322-724-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more