The robot’s lively antics are amusing, but the story feels overly mechanical.

READ REVIEW

SHARING DOES NOT COMPUTE

From the Standroid & Dandroid series

Two robot buddies struggle to share a remote-control car.

Standroid and Dandroid, a pair of robots constructed from lightly detailed simple shapes, one in fuchsia and one in gold, are “powered up” to play. At first, their individual games all mesh to create even better playtimes, as when one’s soap and the other’s water combine to make supercool bubbles, but a difficult-to-share remote-control car causes tension. For inanimate objects, the expressive motion lines and evocatively angled circular eyes against white background make the robots’ many emotions abundantly clear. They are never more so than when the increasingly jealous fuchsia robot (which is which is never entirely clear) declares that “sharing does not compute.” A tussle erupts, and the remote comes apart, revealing a “secret button” inside. Chagrined, they decide to press the button together, which starts a raucous laser show and “dance party.” It’s a feel-good ending for sure, but it’s also unsatisfying. Though the androids declare their decision to share, the phrase used—“Overriding self mode. / Initiating share sequence”—is bewilderingly confusing, and the two androids never actually model any sharing; rather it’s the improbable secret button that saves the day. Read aloud, the book achieves an appropriately robotic tone, but an overreliance on sophisticated tech words such as “sensors” and “activate” seems intended more for adult readers than the child audience.

The robot’s lively antics are amusing, but the story feels overly mechanical. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0569-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon.

THE LITTLE GARDENER

From the Teenie Greenies series

A young girl watches her garden grow.

Though she's a bit older than the typical board-book audience, her self-reliance makes her an appealing character for toddlers struggling to assert their independence. The strategic use of sturdy flaps provides both peekaboo fun and structure to the storyline. “Yellow daisy. / Red rose. / A bud blooms. / [lift flap] A flower grows.” Some of the interactive elements clearly connect objects to one another (shovel, pail), while other pairings review the progress of the blossoming outdoors. The child enjoys the results of her hard work (smelling a flower has never been so sweet) and waters her lush plants with her pint-sized watering can. Varied vocabulary extends the text. “Harvest carrots / . . . squash and peas. / [lift flap] Pollinated by the bees.” Perhaps due to their having been printed on recycled paper with soy inks, the matte sides of the flaps tend to be darker than the rest, which are glossy.

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93041-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple,...

WHO ARE WE?

AN ANIMAL GUESSING GAME

An engaging, lift-the-flap riddle book that will keep little ones guessing.

The left side of each double-page spread offers a short, rhyming couplet describing a certain type of animal’s movement. For instance, the book begins with: “When we move, we are pretty slow. / Waddling keeps us warm in snow.” On the right side of the page is the question “Who are we?” printed atop a flap. On the edge of each flap is a tab with an arrow as well as a clue to the riddle’s answer. In this case, readers see orange, webbed feet and a white body. Simply lifting the flap reveals the word “Penguins” and three penguins who appear to be waddling across the page, but pulling on the tab in the direction indicated by the arrow reveals a hidden gatefold with another penguin scene and a fun fact: “We penguins have feathers to keep us dry and warm!” In addition to the penguins, readers see giraffes, snakes, arctic foxes and leopards. The rhyming riddles are amusing but not easy; children will need help from the clue on the tab to guess the answers. The appealing illustrations feature frolicking animals and uncluttered, skillfully rendered landscapes.

Toddlers and young preschoolers, both independently and in groups, will enjoy both the guessing game and the simple, interesting animal facts this offering provides. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46762-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more