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KEVIN'S BIG BOOK OF THE FIVE SENSES by Liesbet Slegers

KEVIN'S BIG BOOK OF THE FIVE SENSES

By Liesbet Slegers (Author) , Liesbet Slegers (Illustrator)

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60537-124-5
Publisher: Clavis

This exploration of the five senses flattens rather than elevates its subject.

Perky text encourages reader involvement as a young boy examines his body's abilities. “Kevin hears with his two ears. / You hear with your ears, too! / Listen very carefully. What can you hear? / And what does Kevin hear? / Let's listen!” The examples vary tremendously in their effectiveness. The section on sight captures a toddler's perspective; Kevin sees his mommy, a book and even nothing at all (when he plays peek-a-boo). The section on touch, on the other hand, offers the "fluffy wool" of sheep, a tactile experience not available to many modern children. Translated from Dutch, some vocabulary flat-out misleads; the glass of water reads “no taste!” Language often confuses rather than explains. “[S]our” describes the odor from a garbage can and the taste of a lemon; “spicy” refers to both soap (smell) and soup (taste). Visually, the book is more successful. Thick lines and a bright color palette are eminently toddler-friendly. Kevin's Peanuts-proportioned head, with constant smile, sits directly on his rounded shoulders; his belly protrudes underneath his shirt. Some activities require greater coordination than the young audience's capabilities. The heavy focus on bodily functions (ranging from “stinky dog doo” to cat “pee-pee”) may turn off some adults, though probably not their children.

Better offerings on the senses abound. (Board book. 1-3)