Appealing nonfiction for the littlest learners.

SUMMER BEACH DAY

From the Day to Day Board Books series

A toddler’s introduction to the beach becomes a vehicle to present some basic concepts and vocabulary.

This small, square volume homes in on the elements most crucial to a happy day at the shore. A couple of sentences of text with one or two boldfaced terms appear at the bottom of each left-hand page. The items in bold are depicted above the text against a plain white background and then placed into some context in the fuller illustrations occupying the right-hand pages. For example, illustrations of a shovel and pail appear above the text: “This is my shovel and this is my pail. I’m using my shovel to fill my pail with sand. Look! My pail is almost full.” The right-hand page depicts a smiling pink-skinned toddler playing happily with the pail and shovel in a patch of sand. Other items introduced are the sun, the toddler’s swimming trunks and sun hat, shells, water wings, water and ice cream cones. The simple illustrations—featuring bold outlines, vivid colors, and the same cheerful tot—are a good complement to the brief, descriptive text, and together they make a helpful primer on the basics of beachgoing.

Appealing nonfiction for the littlest learners. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1605371665

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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