A rudimentary introduction to a classic skill. Up next: how to dial a phone, play CDs, use a film camera….



From the My Little World series

Hey kids! Learn how to read an analog clock just like your (grand)parents!

A big, round hole cut into the front cover and every subsequent heavy cardboard page reveals a clock face with hours marked in Arabic numerals; the minutes are marked likewise but only by increments of five. The two ratcheted plastic hands can be individually set according to prompts delivered by a bear and the titular crocodile, evidently roommates. They rise in the crowded, flat cartoon illustrations at “7 o’clock” (“If the long hand points straight up to 12, the time is a whole hour,” Clockodile informs the bear). Improbably, they get set to retire at “25 after 7” that night. In between, they catch a bus, paint some pictures (at “half past 9”), eat lunch, swim (at “quarter after 2”) and share dinner. Meanwhile, an inconspicuous printed clock in each scene provides the proper configuration of hands, and a small blue robot helpfully supplies the “digital time” equivalents on a band running along the bottom. Explanations of seconds, minutes other than those divisible by five, Roman numerals and alternative expressions (“nine thirty,” “two fifteen,” etc.) are evidently reserved for another time.

A rudimentary introduction to a classic skill. Up next: how to dial a phone, play CDs, use a film camera…. (Novelty. 3-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-552-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life.



Another overdesigned board book, with puzzle pieces this time, from PANTONE, the company that creates the widely used color matching system.

Each double-page spread focuses on one color of the rainbow. The left-hand side is a full-page, graphically minded scene using a variety of hues of the color in question. On the facing pages, the PANTONE chips make their appearance, four shades occupying the four quadrants of the page separated by a bold white line in typical PANTONE fashion. Both sides of each page spread carry four shaped indentations to hold abstract puzzle shapes made of paperboard. Featuring machines that go on the left, the red spread has pieces that become the door and siren on a fire truck. These same pieces fit into slots labeled “Stop Sign Red / PANTONE 485” and “Brick Red / PANTONE 7627” on the right. While the cartoon tableaux are droll, the use of PANTONE numbers will make little sense to youngsters. The puzzle pieces themselves are relatively easy to get in and out once loosened, but, after a few readings, they will likely flake at the edges if they are not lost altogether. The small pieces force this message on the back cover: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0939-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.


Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers.


Gorgeous patterns peel away layers of color and depth within this kaleidoscope.

A die-cut circle frames the center of the device, and each turn of the page adds a different, textured nuance with scallops and points. Viewing the shapes and colors with the textured lens embedded in the cover causes them to emulate the effect of a real kaleidoscope. The text takes readers through the seasons, turn by turn, as leaves drop, rain falls, and snowflakes drift to the ground. The typography swirls and swoops, contributing to the feeling of movement both visually and linguistically. “Steeping, steaming, / lemon squeezing. / Tipping, pouring, / soothing, pleasing.” The words mimic the movements of the steam, floating up from the cup. Bold backgrounds extend from one side of the scene to the next. Mechanically, the manipulation of the embedded lens is a challenge, the wheel requiring more coordination than the toddler set can provide. Due to the small parts included, the warning label discourages children younger than 3 from independently poring over these pages.

Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18641-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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