Clear nonfiction for the very young is hard to come by, and it appears that the Look & Learn series may finally be on...

READ REVIEW

ALL ABOUT ME

From the Look & Learn series

An exploration of the human body through colorful photos.

Every other double-page spread labels the individual parts on one major area: head, torso, back, arm and leg. Ethnically diverse boy-girl pairs serve as models as arrows point to specific features and captions float nearby. While the book usefully mentions rarely depicted body parts, such as eyebrow, armpit and shin, some of the directional arrows are unclear. The arrow pointing at a girl’s shoulder hits her in the upper arm, and the belly button is hard is distinguish from the stomach (both are concealed by shirts). Facts about the human body (“Guess what? You have tiny hairs in your nose that keep out dirt”) appear on alternating spreads along with photos of kids in action. Baby Animals, another title in the Look & Learn series, uses an identical format to introduce readers to seal pups, leopard cubs, elephant calves, ducklings and tadpoles. In both titles, the final spread offers a review of the information and encourages readers to match baby animals to their parents or find body parts on a photo of kids jumping on a trampoline.

Clear nonfiction for the very young is hard to come by, and it appears that the Look & Learn series may finally be on the right track despite earlier titles that were much too conceptual for the audience. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4263-1483-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot.

WHERE'S THE LADYBUG?

Little ones learn about bugs.

The world of insects and like small creatures is the focus of this sturdy board book. Each turn of the page gives readers a close view of a particular habitat. The text asks, “Where’s the ladybug?” or “Where’s the snail?” and little ones are encouraged to find the creatures under shaped felt flaps. A caterpillar poses under a leaf with a few bites taken out of it; a bumblebee flies behind a pink tulip. The flaps are made of a reasonably strong material, secured tightly within the book’s pages. Extremely determined readers may figure out a way to pull the flaps out, but most will enjoy flipping them up and over with ease. The last page of the book contains a mirror hidden behind a bush-shaped flap, and readers are asked “And where are you?” The insects smile with big eyes and are composed of large, circular, clean-edged shapes. The color palette is dulled, making the neon flaps pop effectively for little readers. Concurrently publishing companion Where’s the Giraffe? explores the world of jungle animals.

A lovely, simple lift-the-flap book that will stand the test of many a mighty tot. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9335-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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