Featuring typical opposites in familiar settings, this board book offers little new.

READ REVIEW

OPPOSITES

From the Discovery Concepts series

Ten pairs of common opposing concepts are featured in this board book for toddlers, with active illustrations of diverse people of a variety of ages, hair, and skin color.

The settings, a different one on each double-page spread, are ones that many young children are familiar with. A bus filled with people, including a woman in a hijab, goes “Over” a bridge, while a small boat goes “Under” it; children play and swim in the “Wet” waves while others play on the “Dry” beach. There is just one capitalized word on each page, and the illustrations are done with watercolor and colored pencil in a muted multicolored palette that complements the spare delivery. Some spreads vary from the single-setting presentation, instead featuring the same setting in opposing conditions. On the verso representing “Hot” is a pond in summer, with kids wearing shorts and sleeveless dresses and eating ice cream. On the recto, “Cold,” bundled-up kids skate on the same pond. Opposites are a difficult concept for young children to understand, and some of the pairings in this book are either too subtle or not well-portrayed, such as “Open” and “Closed” (umbrellas on a rainy day), “Near” and “Far” (subway trains), and “Stop” and “Go” (halted traffic and walking pedestrians, including a girl who uses a wheelchair).

Featuring typical opposites in familiar settings, this board book offers little new. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1460-5

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good.

SHAPE UP, CONSTRUCTION TRUCKS!

Storytime gets a kick in the pants with this jaunty combo of shapes and vehicles.

In this look at basic geometry via high-resolution photographs of construction trucks, the youngest of readers are introduced to nine different shapes. Using a seek-and-find format, the book encourages them to locate each shape as it appears on a vehicle, clearly delineated with thick, colorful lines. A clear, red triangle decorates the bed of a dump truck; a blue oval surrounds the barrel of a concrete mixer. The rhyming text names the featured equipment, each shot with crystal clarity outdoors on a variety of beautiful days. From the jaunty little red forklift sporting a rectangle on its side to the rhombus of a road sign snapped at an angle, small fingers will have no difficulty tracing each of the featured shapes again and again. Similar in its cadences to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle (1967), this book is ideal for construction storytimes everywhere. “Road roller / Road roller / Coming through! / I spy a circle— / How about you?” Be sure to sing it to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” if you really want to bring down the house. Activities to further engage young children are included at the end of the book.

Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77278-134-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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You can count on this one to be a bland yet passable learning tool.

MY FIRST NUMBERS

Insects and animals help readers count from one through 10.

In this number-focused board book, each themed double-page spread invites readers to practice counting. A cartoon puppy looks down at a scattering of bones, for example, and declares, “I can count NINE bones,” on the left-hand side of one such layout; over the gutter, there is a stock photograph of nine tennis balls and a large 9 along with text inviting readers to count. Each turn of the page follows this pattern, progressing by one number higher. The format is familiar and formulaic, conventional and utilitarian. That said, it serves its purpose of presenting new learners with a clear and recognizable tool for number recognition and counting practice. The cartoons have the impersonal look of clip art, and the photographs presented against a stark white background are simple and repetitive. The number five page, for example, shows five identical turtles as opposed to five different turtles or one turtle in five different positions or environments, a missed opportunity for visual interest. In contrast, companion title My First Colors introduces a color and then shows photographs of different items in that color, displaying more illustrative depth but following the same predictable format. While neither of these books does anything groundbreaking, they do a competent job of presenting these timeless concepts for pre-readers.

You can count on this one to be a bland yet passable learning tool. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4413-3308-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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