From amphibians to earthworms, there’s plenty here to foster an interest in the natural world.


From the Curious Kids series

Age-appropriate science in an appealing pop-up format.

This book conveys a surprising amount of information through clear and easily digested statements and clever, eye-catching pop-up designs. The book is presented in a series of two-page tableaux organized by topic: “Little Life Forms,” “Caterpillars/Butterflies,” “Frogs,” “Spiders,” “Bees,” “Creepy Crawlies,” “Ants,” and “At Night.” The artwork is representational rather than realistic, with the various bugs, frogs, and other creatures mildly anthropomorphized, with big, happy faces and friendly smiles. The three-dimensional pop-up aspect of the book is a key central feature, adding greatly to the fun. A tree in the middle of the first spread pops out at readers; within holes at its midsection and by the roots they see a sleeping owl and a baby mole, respectively. A bird feeds its young in their nest upon one branch; on another, bees buzz busily at their (inaccurately represented) hive. Elsewhere, a spider swings down on its web from a tree limb, or a beetle scuttles out from beneath a log. All of the pop-ups are cleverly executed, adding dimension and motion without ever requiring kids to pull a single tab—which should greatly increase the life expectancy of the book. Even the text teems with life, at times floating in the breeze, drifting in the water, or following the contours of a crawling caterpillar. Companion title Explore the Shore follows the same format to explore a coastal ecosystem.

From amphibians to earthworms, there’s plenty here to foster an interest in the natural world. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-618-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There are better fish in the board-book sea.


From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet