BOTANY FOR BABIES by Jonathan Litton

BOTANY FOR BABIES

From the "Baby 101" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 1 - 4
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another attempt to simplify a complex topic for babies or toddlers.

From the first, Elliott’s stylized plants all have the look of the plants children draw in kindergarten—cheerful, but not scientifically accurate—and seem calculated to emphasize a sense of bounty rather than order. One spread is littered with seeds, but only seven are labeled—unless some are rocks or pebbles? Three following spreads try to explain the difference between roots and shoots, utilizing cross-section views to illustrate belowground growth. Without using the term, photosynthesis is summarized: “Leaves use sunlight to create energy and food for plants to grow.” Similarly, the statement “Bees take pollen from flower to flower so the plants can make seeds” just scratches the surface. The picture of a smiling oversized bee accumulating pollen at the bottoms of all six feet does little to clarify. After a discussion of fruit and fruit seeds, the final spread shows two children (a child of color and a white-presenting child) gazing in amazement at a flower bud that blooms when a flap is lifted. Altogether a confusing disappointment, making this an unfortunate outlier in the Baby 101 series. Zoology for Babies, published simultaneously, is more successful. The topic is more familiar, and animals are more easily sorted by common features and habitat. Just don’t believe its ending proclamation, “Now you’re a zoologist!”

Overreaches and oversimplifies at the same time. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-64878-9
Page count: 22pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019




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