A mix of fabs and flubs, but there are plenty of opportunities for interactive play nonetheless, at least as long as the...

READ REVIEW

MY FIRST TOOLBOX

PRESS OUT & PLAY

Cardboard tools for budding carpenters.

Each of the five heavy-duty press-out tools can be put to immediate use—turning screws on the page opposite the screwdriver, for instance, or making a satisfying “whoopa-whoopa” by sliding the saw through five adjacent die-cut slots. It’s not going to be quite so easy, though, to measure “1 board” when the accompanying slotted tape measure has no numbers on it (and is also shorter than the board and very sticky and hard to work, to boot). Readers are encouraged to use the wrench to “tighten 2 nuts,” but those nuts are on smooth posts rather than threads, so they simply spin fruitlessly rather than tightening. The four flat “nails” that can be hammered into slots are small enough to make the toddler advisory on the rear cover a necessity, too. Still, the tools and other pieces are large enough for post-toddlers to wield easily, and they offer tantalizing previews of what handling real tools will be like. The book closes with an encouraging “Good job using your tools!”

A mix of fabs and flubs, but there are plenty of opportunities for interactive play nonetheless, at least as long as the parts stay with the book. (Novelty board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2929-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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