Overall, this is a fun and thought-provoking book by a talented illustrator with a knack for wordless storytelling.

ONE PIECE OF STRING

A piece of string can be many things in this cleverly illustrated wordless board book.

When a piece of string is removed from a brown paper package, it takes on new roles, both predictable and surprising. Whether as a clothesline, a rabbit, or a bowl of spaghetti, the string twists and turns its way into a series of visually stimulating, child-friendly pictures. The absence of text in the book gives children and their caregivers the opportunity to invent stories about each page after they have identified the at-times-elusive string. Jocelyn’s (Sam Sorts, 2017) ingenious collage-style illustrations effectively combine patterns and strong, bold blocks of color into highly textured results. The inclusion of a picture of a woman of color (with tightly curled hair made by the string) is a welcome addition to a genre that does not often stray from white, straight-haired characters. Unlike One Red Button (2017), which uses a similar conceit with a red button, the string can be challenging for very young readers to find, as when it forms the eyes of an owl or a bolt of lightning.

Overall, this is a fun and thought-provoking book by a talented illustrator with a knack for wordless storytelling. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1318-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple,...

TEN EASTER EGGS

A cheerful brown bunny hiding behind the edges of an Easter basket looks just as surprised as young children will be to find the chicks revealed as each egg “hatches.”

With help from a reading partner, young children are encouraged to count down the eggs as they disappear with each page turn. Alternatively, they can count up as the chicks are revealed. A simple phrase at the top of each right-hand page states the number of eggs in the basket. The line at the bottom (half of a rhyming couplet) tells how many chicks readers should look for. The numbers are spelled out, requiring young children to recognize the word instead of the more familiar numeral. On the left-hand page, the spaces previously occupied by an egg begin to fill with meadow plants and critters, eventually becoming a scene as busy and cheerful as a greeting card. This book begs to be touched. Each egg is made of shaped plastic that protrudes through die-cut holes on the verso; they can be pressed but seem to be securely anchored. The pastel chicks are lightly flocked, providing an additional tactile experience. Although the pages are thicker than paper, young fingers may find the holes a convenient way to grip (and possibly tear) the pages.

There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple, nonreligious holiday book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-74730-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.

MY FIRST BUSY BOOK

From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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