While the attempts at diversity should be lauded, both are shiny bits of board-book bling without much substance.

READ REVIEW

SPARKLING PRINCESS 1 2 3

Count up to 10 with various fairy-tale characters.

Bedecked in foil of various hues with a subtle embossing, 1 frog prince, 2 glass slippers, 3 castles and 4 unicorns all make an appearance. Most of the objects are easily counted, but the “10 enchanted friends!” prove confusing; is the princess atop the unicorn an enchanted friend or is it the barely visible snail resting on a sparkly mushroom? A few of Perrett’s graphic cartoons in highly saturated jewel tones are droll, but readers may start to wonder why so many of the people and the magical beings never open their eyes. While a token few of the princesses here show some ethnic variety, the sister title, Sparkling Princess ABC (2013), does a better job with diversity and depicts a dark-skinned princess on the cover and two more on the inside. Working through the alphabet, several of the same fairy-tale characters cross over to this book and are again embellished with the same speckled foil. One-word captions label each object, which are depicted two or three to a page. At the end, both titles unnecessarily review the numbers and letters in a too-busy double-page spread with tiny images.

While the attempts at diversity should be lauded, both are shiny bits of board-book bling without much substance. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8887-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more