SAME SAME

Giving preschoolers and even aging toddlers food for thought, on each page Slaughter and Jocelyn group three items—all rendered as bright, very simple graphic images in primary colors plus black, white and green—that share a common characteristic: “round things,” “things that make music,” “things that fly.” To create links between groups, each illustrated group includes one member that reappears on the subsequent spread—a tambourine is a “round thing” and a “thing that makes music,” a snake is both a “striped thing” and a “long thing” and so on. Unlike the title, which sounds like some sort of pidgin, Jocelyn’s terse captions are in plain language; an apple and the Earth are “round things,” a dog, an elephant and a chair are “things with four legs.” In most cases these are probably superfluous, but at least take away any guesswork. An inviting way of introducing connections and commonalities. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-88776-885-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2008

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TIME TO PEE!

That most basic of functions, subject of countless earnest tomes, at last receives a treatment whose instructional value is equaled by its entertainment value. “If you ever get that funny feeling . . . ” reads a series of signs borne by a host of cheerful, cartoony mice as they fly, drive, march, and (in at least one instance) get shot from a cannon past a bevy of dubious-looking multicultural children: “don’t PANIC! Don’t FRET!” The simple text is direct, not without humor (“And please don’t ignore it!”), and wonderfully child-wise, providing the critical reassurance that “everything will still be right where it was.” The multitudinous mice in their kite-flying, instrument-playing, sky-diving, helicopter-driving variety constitute a visual feast that enlivens the simple text and will keep the inevitable re-readings from becoming snooze-inducing. The uncluttered layout allows the children to take center stage while the legions of mice, with their text-bearing signs, happily perform their supporting roles. Those kids move from doubt to magnificent relief to pride in a happily encouraging progression, making this offering number one in the potty department. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7868-1868-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003

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An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters.

COUNTABLOCK

From the Block Books series

Shaped pages help youngsters count to 10 and beyond.

Two stylish double-page spreads are devoted to each number one through 10 and then, counting by 10s, to 100. In the first spread, the right-hand side is a page-high, die-cut numeral that spills off the page; to its left, a squirrel holds an acorn. With the turn of the page, there’s a transformation. “One acorn becomes… / one oak tree!” A portion of the object, animal or person being altered is visible through the die-cut openings; a sand castle peeks through the “0” of the number 10, for instance. Once the page is turned, the background from the previous left-hand page merges with the full double-page spread. As in the earlier Alphablock (2013), the helpfulness of these visual hints is uneven. After 10, 20 caterpillars become 20 butterflies, 30 baskets of cucumbers become 30 jars of pickles, and 40 eggs become 39 chicks and one dinosaur. The whole shebang ends with 100 puzzle pieces fitting together into “one big puzzle!” in the book’s only double gatefold. Peskimo’s muted color palette and droll cartoon style works well with the playful concept. The same worries about the binding that arose with Alphablock are an issue here, but the conceit will likely appeal to older children anyway.

An inventive and extensive counting experience that will delight youngsters. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1374-3

Page Count: 94

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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