A sweet encouragement to play.



From the Baby Unplugged series

The newest title in the Baby Unplugged series by pediatrician Hutton (Book, 2012, etc.) takes a toddler-friendly approach to its examination of the properties and virtues of water.

In keeping with the author’s basic philosophy of encouraging active play and avoiding screen time before the age of 3, this title celebrates the rhythms of language while encouraging little ones to examine and explore the simple wonders of their world. Brief, rhyming verses, most of which scan well and read smoothly, convey a lot of information without coming across as too teacher-y or tedious: “Drop from clouds. Drip from sink. / Water to play. Water to drink. // Water is noisy. Water is quiet. / Water swirls and sprinkles—try it!” The computer-generated art creates a cheery, cartoon world filled with patterns, textures and children whose facial features are rendered with only black lines and circles. While the whimsical illustrations aren’t a perfect match for the text’s celebration of water—calling to mind as they do the plugged-in world of computers and television more than the wild world of nature—their joyful spirit is right on target.

A sweet encouragement to play. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-20-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple,...



An engaging, lift-the-flap riddle book that will keep little ones guessing.

The left side of each double-page spread offers a short, rhyming couplet describing a certain type of animal’s movement. For instance, the book begins with: “When we move, we are pretty slow. / Waddling keeps us warm in snow.” On the right side of the page is the question “Who are we?” printed atop a flap. On the edge of each flap is a tab with an arrow as well as a clue to the riddle’s answer. In this case, readers see orange, webbed feet and a white body. Simply lifting the flap reveals the word “Penguins” and three penguins who appear to be waddling across the page, but pulling on the tab in the direction indicated by the arrow reveals a hidden gatefold with another penguin scene and a fun fact: “We penguins have feathers to keep us dry and warm!” In addition to the penguins, readers see giraffes, snakes, arctic foxes and leopards. The rhyming riddles are amusing but not easy; children will need help from the clue on the tab to guess the answers. The appealing illustrations feature frolicking animals and uncluttered, skillfully rendered landscapes.

Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple, interesting animal facts this offering provides. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46762-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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This introduction to Yosemite may work well in conjunction with a visit, but as a book to learn about what is small, it...


A bear and a chickaree enjoy small treasures in Yosemite National Park.

As a companion to So Big! Yosemite (2017), this board book features the same question-and-answer format accompanied by Iwai’s illustrations, this time featuring tiny natural resources found in Yosemite National Park: the chickaree squirrel, a sequoia cone, an alpine shooting star flower, and others. On each recto is the question with the object shown on its own. On the verso of the next double-page spread is the unchanging answer (“SO SMALL!”) and the object shown with a jovial black bear for size contrast. “How small is a Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog? // SO SMALL!” Including the bear in each answer illustration gives some sense of scale (the granite pebble is shown in the bear’s paw, for instance), but it may be difficult for toddlers to get an idea of just how small the object in question actually is without direct familiarity. It does not help that some of the objects, the frog, for instance, are shown in different sizes on different pages, and there is no comparison between familiar objects, most toddlers never having gotten up close and personal with a black bear.

This introduction to Yosemite may work well in conjunction with a visit, but as a book to learn about what is small, it misses the mark. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-930238-86-2

Page Count: 15

Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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