Attractively designed but limited in educational value for beginning readers or botanists.

READ REVIEW

AN ABC OF FLOWERS

The title says it all—this is an alphabet of flowers!

Each page depicts a giant letter of the alphabet in a soft, flat color, superimposed with a color photograph of a flower beginning with that letter and the name of the flower printed in lowercase. Because there must be a flower for every letter of the alphabet, some of the flower names are rather obscure. A case in point is “ulex,” which is the Latin name for a European genus of flowering plants; the one pictured is gorse, which will probably not be familiar to most North American readers. Similarly, “xeranthemum” is the word used for the letter X, and only one flower of this European genus of daisies is shown. This serious botany is lightened somewhat by decorative black-and-white line drawings of a tiny, presumably white, girl who introduces herself along with the letter A: “Amelie, that’s me!” Amelie is depicted playing, dancing, climbing, swinging, and otherwise interacting with the relatively huge flowers. The line drawings are sweet, and a child might be captivated by Amelie’s antics, but the connection between her activity and the alphabet letter is hard to discern. Unlike many other, similar titles, no additional information is given about the flowers beyond their names.

Attractively designed but limited in educational value for beginning readers or botanists. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51785-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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