By providing a little for everyone, the book may spread itself too thin.



Readers will meet and learn about 100 people in this artistic concept book.

Created by JR, the artist behind the international art project Inside Out, the book features black-and-white portraits of individuals from all around the world. These photos are arranged uniformly across a series of double-page spreads beginning with Gwen, age 1, and ending with Beatrice, age 100. Each spread introduces the subject with a greeting from their language, lists their place of birth and current residence, presents a world map locating both places (if they are different), and provides a brief paragraph from their point of view that dances loosely around the topic of age. Gwen, a Briton, “can say some words”; Beatrice, who is from the U.S., is a little surprised to be 100. Both Gwen and Beatrice present White, and in between readers will meet Costa Rican 10-year-old Diego, Zimbabwean 33-year-old Ngonidzashe, Vietnamese 48-year-old Vu, and Iraq-born Canadian 90-year-old Menashe, among others. As readers delve further into the book they’ll notice the background colors of the pages change hue from a bright yellow, shifting through the color wheel, and returning to yellow. The book is beautiful and borders on the profound (especially for older caregivers), but the question remains: Who is this for? Babies obsessed with faces may love the portraits; toddlers may learn numbers, colors, etc.; older readers may learn some geography—all ages get a little, but is it enough? (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-14.5-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

By providing a little for everyone, the book may spread itself too thin. (Picture book. All ages)

Pub Date: April 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-83866-158-8

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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With minimal text and bright-color illustrations, Crews captures the essence of a plane journey."Boarding. . . Take off. . .Flying over cities. . .Flying into the clouds. . . Time to head down. . ."—the brief captions are hardly needed to accompany the 16 double-spread illustrations showing a small, propeller, driven plane on its way from city to city, day to night. With buildings and vehicles resembling simple wooden toys, the bold, sunny illustrations can be "read" by the youngest. Crews' style has become familiar, through several fine books; this is a worthy companion to the award-winning Freight Train and Truck.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 1986

ISBN: 0688092357

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: April 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging.


From the I Can Learn! series

This noisy board book is designed to thrill tots fascinated with all things construction.

A tactile backhoe digger is center stage on each of the five cutout pages, complete with flaps. Brief rhyming text describes the machine’s actions as it works throughout the day. Animal characters engaged in manual labor or operating other machinery—a bulldozer, crane, road roller, and dump truck—describe more work that goes on at a construction site in small speech bubbles. Finding the mouse in every scene adds to the fun. On each page, a little bird sporting a hard hat invites young builders to press various parts of the silicone digger to activate a range of distinct sounds. The digger’s track pad sounds different from the sound of its arm moving dirt. The problem is that the digger itself is passive; the track pad and arm don’t actually move. The machine stays in the same place on every spread. The caution light beeps but doesn’t light up. Savvy kids will quickly realize that all the sounds are accessible from the first spread without having to turn the pages. The sound is the most engaging part of the book, but with only five sounds, this feature won’t hold most youngsters’ attention for long.

A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-684-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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