Playing with your food is allowed (and encouraged!) here.

PLAY WITH YOUR PLATE!

From the Mix-and-Match Book series

An interactive concept book relating to food, colors, and shapes for the preschool set.

When children open the book they will find four small books arranged as a square. The two on the left open to the left, the two on the right open to the right. When all four books are open it looks like a place setting, with a plate full of food. The books have illustrations of food with different shapes: circles (slices of kiwi, a bowl of guacamole) and triangles (a pizza slice, a watermelon wedge); different colors: red (kidney beans, red miso soup, tomatoes), yellow (corn bread, a taco, pineapple), green (peas, lettuce, edamame); and food types: fruits, vegetables, sushi, pizza, pasta. The book suggests some plate arrangements children can make: “Can you make a plate of only triangles or circles?” “Can you make a plate of only vegetables or fruits?” or “Can you make a plate of your favorite foods?” But the possibilities are many, and readers can come up with their own combinations—including matching the plate edges or the accompanying flatware. Adults can also use the book as a springboard for a playful conversation on food and nutrition.

Playing with your food is allowed (and encouraged!) here. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3907-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters.

COUNTABLOCK

From the Block Books series

Shaped pages help youngsters count to 10 and beyond.

Two stylish double-page spreads are devoted to each number one through 10 and then, counting by 10s, to 100. In the first spread, the right-hand side is a page-high, die-cut numeral that spills off the page; to its left, a squirrel holds an acorn. With the turn of the page, there’s a transformation. “One acorn becomes… / one oak tree!” A portion of the object, animal or person being altered is visible through the die-cut openings; a sand castle peeks through the “0” of the number 10, for instance. Once the page is turned, the background from the previous left-hand page merges with the full double-page spread. As in the earlier Alphablock (2013), the helpfulness of these visual hints is uneven. After 10, 20 caterpillars become 20 butterflies, 30 baskets of cucumbers become 30 jars of pickles, and 40 eggs become 39 chicks and one dinosaur. The whole shebang ends with 100 puzzle pieces fitting together into “one big puzzle!” in the book’s only double gatefold. Peskimo’s muted color palette and droll cartoon style works well with the playful concept. The same worries about the binding that arose with Alphablock are an issue here, but the conceit will likely appeal to older children anyway.

An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1374-3

Page Count: 94

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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