A vocabulary-building book with a twist.
Alternating between two- and one-page spreads, this board book features bustling, detailed pictures accompanied by simple, one-word labels in clean black text. Words are grouped according to themes such as “In the house,” which features keys, a vacuum cleaner, and a computer arranged in a neat grid, and “In the Bedroom,” which features a charming scene of a mother putting a baby to bed in a crib. As the book progresses, the words move farther away from the familiar, touching on tools, transportation, musical instruments, and a wide variety of wild and domestic birds and animals. The battery-operated bar to the right of the pages allows children to press a button coded with an icon specific to each respective page. When pressed, a female voice reads the words on the appropriate page aloud, along with accompanying sounds, such as the shake of a rattle, the ring of an alarm clock, and the soft notes of a musical mobile. One press results in a full reading of every word on the page, something that may not be intuitive to very young children used to buttons being coded to one, and only one, sound. The bold, solid blocks of color keep the illustrations interesting without cluttering them, and the human characters are varied in skin tone, hair texture, and gender presentation.
Overall, a solid choice for both very young children and children who are just beginning to read. (Board book. 6 mos.-4)