Full Review: Extremely thick pages with curved edges make this early ABC a sturdy and safe choice for the youngest learners.
All the books in the Baby's First series (publishing simultaneously are Baby’s First 123, Baby’s First Shapes, and Baby’s First Words) look good enough to eat, with candy-colored edges and bright nursery graphics. Fortunately, the high gloss wipeable pages, each a solid 3/8 inch thick, are almost impervious to teething children. A toddler can easily manipulate these books, and they lay flat when placed on baby's tray table. However, the triangle at the binding created by the open book is also easy for tiny fingers to grab; eventually the spine will tear. In this title, the designers chose just one item to represent each letter, but the limited number of pages means four or five letters must share each spread. “Queen,” “xylophone,” and “zebra” are their choices for the awkward Q, X, and Z. Other choices are more obscure—“octopus,” “igloo,” and “walrus” are not standard nursery vocabulary. In Baby's First Words, the challenge of ethnic representation is avoided by using a lion family to illustrate “daddy,” “mommy,” and “baby.” In Baby's First 123, seven butterflies share a page with three similarly colored flowers, complicating the task of counting.
Still, the cheerful designs and easy handling make this and the others in the Baby's First series a good way to practice page-turning and vocabulary with pre-talkers. (Board book. 6-18 mos.)