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 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021


From the My World series

A fun, utilitarian vocabulary builder that begs to be picked up and touched.

In the tradition of Pat the Bunny, this effort offers plenty of opportunity for tactile exploration.

Though it lacks the inventiveness, charm, and nontactile sensory provocations that make Pat the Bunny an enduring classic, this gives little hands plenty to grab, feel, touch, and experience. There are no “Paul and Judy” on hand to emulate, but the die-cut, fuzzy handprint in the middle of the thick, cardboard cover makes the book’s intent and methodology clear to its audience. So does the admonition, “Let’s Get Hands-on!” accompanying a photo of a little White child with fingers and palms covered in different colors of paint. The next page lists 10 different textures along with photographs of items that act as examples of each. Featured sensations are “fluffy, crinkly, smooth, bumpy, sticky, spongy, furry, rough, scratchy, [and] soft.” Each texture gets a two-page spread featuring several different items or creatures that feel that way and one large example with a die-cut hole and an embedded tactile element of the corresponding texture. The book features plenty of vocabulary, including three synonyms for each type of texture. There’s a descriptive sentence: “Fluffy things feel light and airy,” for example. Questions add an interactive element, inviting children to explore for themselves: “If you run your finger along something crinkly, what kind of noise does it make?”

A fun, utilitarian vocabulary builder that begs to be picked up and touched. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-656-5

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021



A good choice for a late fall storytime.

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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