An elegant introduction to caribou and the language of the people who depend on them.



Follow caribou as they grow in this bilingual English-Inuktitut board book.

Caribou hold enormous economic and traditional significance to the Inuit people, and this board book affirms their vital role in the community. Opening with a vulnerable “nurraq,” or “baby caribou,” the text defines the animal in three terms, first with Inuktitut syllabics, then with the Romanized version of the syllabics, and finally, the English translation of the word. Standing alone against a white background, the lanky baby caribou is gauzy and lightly shaded, a mostly naturalistic animal imbued with a touch of softness. It’s followed by a full-bleed, double-page spread showing mother and baby amid a luminously colored, sweeping boreal landscape. As the book progresses, readers meet six specific iterations of caribou throughout their life spans, such as “nurraviniq,” or “young caribou (male or female),” ending with a “pangniq,” or “bull caribou.” Each stage is accompanied by a handsome introductory portrait and then a tableau set against mountains, grassy meadows, or snowy expanses, demonstrating the Arctic environment’s rugged beauty and diversity. Though no humans appear in this picture dictionary, the respect for both the Inuit language and the caribou itself is abundantly clear, and this book will be useful for native speakers and for those learning about Inuktitut.

An elegant introduction to caribou and the language of the people who depend on them. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77227-280-2

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.


From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Good intentions gone wrong.


From the Baby Loves… series

A baby and a dog discover gravity in this appealingly illustrated, developmentally inappropriate book.

This and Baby Loves Coding are the latest offerings in the Baby Loves Science series of board books. These cute but overzealous attempts to create STEM students from children fresh from the womb seem aimed more at pushy parents than at doctoral candidates in diapers. Previous volumes have featured toddlers who love quarks, aerospace engineering, thermodynamics, and quantum physics. The contents of this book have been vetted for scientific accuracy; one wonders whether the creative team also vetted the practical value of teaching preschoolers to parrot answers to questions they’re ill-equipped to pose or indeed comprehend: “Why does a noodle fall? / Because of gravity!” Babies will have observed the central action this book presents—the fall to the floor of some tidbit from their highchair trays—over and over, but does “When Baby drops something, the earth pulls it down” adequately describe the phenomenon? For a toddler audience, even simple explanations of the science in this book require more exposition than board books allow and raise more questions than they answer. “Everything is made of matter. The amount of matter is called mass.” OK, what is matter? And if gravity makes spaghetti fall to Earth, why does it make the moon go around it? The baby has brown skin and tightly curled black hair.

Good intentions gone wrong. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-836-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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