Architecture really is for kids! This is a surprisingly informative and accessible concept book.

ARCHITECTURE FOR BABIES

From the Baby 101 series

Think architecture isn’t for little ones? This informational board book distills architectural concepts into manageable pieces.

Throughout this well-organized text, short sentences clearly define various architectural terms, informing readers that “an architect plans a building.” Topics include architectural history, with illustrations of an early hut, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Colosseum; varieties of construction materials; and different architectural styles. Art and words smoothly blend to make information accessible but without talking down to child readers; a page with the text “Some buildings are made of stone” has a small image of interlocking stones above a medieval castle so readers can visualize how they form a wall. Larger, bolder type nicely emphasizes building-related words. The narrative collapses slightly when naming “classical” and “modern” styles along with a single example (the Taj Mahal for the former and the Sydney Opera House for the latter); it’s dubious if it will be enough information to be conceptually meaningful. Pleasant cartoon art in cheery colors and the technically precise buildings will draw readers, especially a single portrait-oriented page that captures the “fairy tale” ornateness of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The book ends with two children of color (all the humans are racially diverse) creating a blueprint for a block tower, followed by a sturdy flap revealing the towering structure, bringing it all back to a child’s level.

Architecture really is for kids! This is a surprisingly informative and accessible concept book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-64880-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A nice addition to this baby-attuned series.

BABY BOTANIST

From the Baby Scientist series

In this newest addition to the Baby Scientist series toddlers are introduced to the basics of what a botanist does.

The book starts with a simple and straightforward explanation of its subject matter: “Who studies plants? / Baby Botanist does!” Wearing a white lab coat with yellow polka dots, a brown-skinned child with a purple hair bow holding up its one little curl proceeds to present a number of simply stated and easily understood plant facts. As with the previous books, the illustrations are colorful, uncluttered, and humorously engaging, and baby has a sidekick; this time it is a blue-and-yellow snail. After planting a seed, Baby wonders what plant will grow. The text explains that some plants have roots and some do not, and they might grow on water or underground. In a simple acknowledgment of a healthy diet, the book states “Baby’s favorite foods all come from plants.” Children are also presented with food they may not recognize as coming from plants, such as noodles and chocolate. In the end, the seed that Baby has planted, watered, and kept in the sunlight “grows into a flower for Mama!” and with that comes a big thank-you hug from Mama.

A nice addition to this baby-attuned series. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-284132-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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