Despite cheery design, too abstract and uncontextualized to make code inviting for any age group, least of all the babies...

WEB DESIGN FOR KIDS

A lift-the-flap board-book introduction to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This brightly colored, 12-page board book seeks to introduce young readers to different types of code. Its three sections each consist of two double-page spreads: the first introduces a type of code, and the second gives various informational tidbits. The strongest section is the last one, JavaScript, which offers copious definitions and a code language that in itself is the most self-explanatory. The second section, CSS, features trivia displayed in an amusing way—namely a “Fonts” flap, under which codes for the font selection and style used on the flap are written. The initial section, HTML, the most basic webpage coding, is a bit of a train wreck. Certain parts use insufficient code (for instance, the “<a>” flap is useless without any demonstration of it in action, and the “Attributes” box references quotation marks that don’t appear, which will puzzle readers unfamiliar enough to know to look for them in the CSS section—i.e., all babies). Worst, factually incorrect information is presented—the “<img>” flap claims that an image “must have two attributes: src and alt”; while all images have a source—src—the alternative text, alt, is not necessary for the code to function.

Despite cheery design, too abstract and uncontextualized to make code inviting for any age group, least of all the babies and toddlers for whom board books are typically published. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0311-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A universal theme, developed in an unusually clean, simple presentation…and, at least, with no need for batteries.

TAP THE MAGIC TREE

Matheson invites readers to take an apple tree through a seasonal round using taps and page turns in place of touch-screens.

“There’s magic in this bare brown tree. / Tap it once. / Turn the page to see.” Making the resemblance to a tablet app even more apparent, the tissue-collage leaves, flowers and fruits that grow, mature and fall in succession on the scaffolding of branches “appear” following cued shakes, pats, blown breaths, claps and gestures as well as simple taps. The tree, suspended in white space on each spread, is all there is to see (until a pair of nesting bluebirds fly in at the end)—so that even very young children will easily follow its changes through spring, summer and winter dormancy to a fresh spring. Like the print version of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (2011), from which this plainly takes its inspiration, the illusion of interactivity exercises a reader’s imagination in ways that digital media do not. Still, the overall result is more an imitation of an app than a creative use of ink, paper and physical design.

A universal theme, developed in an unusually clean, simple presentation…and, at least, with no need for batteries. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-227445-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.

IF YOU FIND A LEAF

A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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