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From the M Books: See + Read series

Simplicity at its finest—don’t miss this innovative board book that’s as beautiful as it is educational.

Die-cut dots create evocative numerical representations in this clever graphic board book.

Rarely have ordinary circles communicated so much, so well. Following the title page, the book opens on a clean white page with 10 tiny die-cut holes representing “10 silver beads”; a lavish silver page underneath creates the illusion of 10 sparkly, scattered treasures. As the numbers progressively count down, the dots grow larger, becoming a cluster of “6 blue blueberries” against a bright green field or two sizable “orange oranges” on crimson. Its final spreads, depicting an oversized “1 yellow sun” and a white page devoid of any dots representing “0 white snowballs,” are simple triumphs. No detail is amiss. There’s judicious use of embossing, eye-catching silvery spheres on the endpapers, a shiny, goldenrod spot-gloss cover, and clean, richly colored backgrounds that make the dots burst outward, especially a group of “4 pink bubbles” that bounce against a lush plum background. Too often, counting books feel stale, but the novelty of the well-built die cuts, combined with the ease with which they demonstrate beginning numeracy, makes this one fresh, engaging, and informational. Concluding with a clear bar chart showing the successive quantity of each type of dot further solidifies its use as an early math text.

Simplicity at its finest—don’t miss this innovative board book that’s as beautiful as it is educational. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5248-5817-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to.

This simplified version of Diesen and Hanna’s The Pout-Pout Fish (2008) is appropriate for babies and toddlers.

Brief, rhyming text tells the story of a sullen fish cheered up with a kiss. A little pink sea creature pokes his head out of a hole in the sea bottom to give the gloomy fish some advice: “Smile, Mr. Fish! / You look so down // With your glum-glum face / And your pout-pout frown.” He explains that there’s no reason to be worried, scared, sad or mad and concludes: “How about a smooch? / And a cheer-up wish? // Now you look happy: / What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Simple and sweet, this tale offers the lesson that sometimes, all that’s needed for a turnaround in mood is some cheer and encouragement to change our perspective. The clean, uncluttered illustrations are kept simple, except for the pout-pout fish’s features, which are delightfully expressive. Little ones will easily recognize and likely try to copy the sad, scared and angry looks that cross the fish’s face.

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-37084-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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From the Boynton on Board series

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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