Cousins again proves she knows what works for the youngest of readers

READ REVIEW

MAISY'S FIRST NUMBERS

Maisy counts up to five in the simplest of concept books.

On the left page, each numeral and the written word for the number is presented starting with one. Across the gutter, Maisy interacts with one stripy tiger, two strolling tortoises, three spotted butterflies and so on. The oversized numeral is playfully presented with the markings of the animal in question; the number four, accompanied by four fish, is scaly and yellow, and the number five, shown with swirly snails, has spiral markings of similar hues. Cousins’ childlike cartoons using bold outlines and bright colors are as delightful as ever against solid backgrounds. The last two pages review the numbers one through five, and the animals are clearly presented for easy counting. The companion title, Maisy’s First Colors, also presents concepts in an appropriately simplified form, focusing only on red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The name of the color, written in black in a large font, appears on the left page against a background of the hue in question. Here, Maisy’s animal playmates (Tallulah, Charley, Cyril and Eddie) aid the mouse in presenting four colorful fruits and one blue ice-pop. Again, the final page is a review of what has come before, with a rainbow clearly labeling all of the hues. Both titles use verse to describe the action; it mostly scans, despite one or two forced rhymes.  

Cousins again proves she knows what works for the youngest of readers . (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6805-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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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

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Should have readers and caregivers singing, clapping, and bouncing along.

THE BUTTON BOOK

This picture book plays on the universal temptation to push buttons.

A squirrel—presumably the first-person narrator of the book—finds a large, round, red button and wonders what would happen when it’s pressed. The squirrel presses the button, and a large rubber horn pops up and honks: “Beep!” The sound attracts a bird and a dog, and together the three come across a triangular orange button. “What does the orange button do?” they wonder, and they discover that it causes them all to clap. As the picture book progresses, other animals—including an elephant, a tortoise, a deer, and a small dinosaur—join the trio, and together they come across and press a giant hexagonal blue button, a round green button, a yellow button (literally—it looks as though it’s come off a coat), a square pink button, and a small purple button that can only be reached by climbing a ladder. Each of the buttons makes the friends do something different, from singing and bouncing to blowing raspberries. British writer Nicholls’ simple, silly narrative and Woollvin’s colorfully childlike illustrations result in a fun picture book that incorporates shapes and colors and that can be used at home and in libraries and classrooms. Pages are dominated by gray with accents—including the animals’ fur and feathers—changing to match the color of each button.

Should have readers and caregivers singing, clapping, and bouncing along. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7352-6715-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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