UNICORN

From the My Little World series

Introduces colors in a pleasing but not outstanding way.

A vibrant, tactile guide to colors.

Each page features happy unicorns prancing through various landscapes introducing the different colors of the rainbow. A die-cut arch appears in the middle of each page, giving tiny fingers a chance to flip pages. Descending in size with each page turn, it is a modified rainbow that corresponds with the pastel hue introduced on each page. The surrounding images are detailed, placing the unicorns in lush settings where children can identify multiple creatures and plants in the various hues. The rhyming text is bouncy and fun to read aloud, and the letters float whimsically on the page, making it easy for emerging readers to follow along. Relatively advanced vocabulary such as “galloping” and “swish” will keep older readers engaged. The co-published Flamingo focuses on counting, each page featuring bright pink birds and chicks playing on sandy beaches throughout the course of a beautiful, sunny day; its die-cut gimmick is simply the shape of a flamingo’s body, and both its text and illustrations are more pedestrian than Unicorn’s. Overall, the books are enjoyable enough but do not stand out, making them a solid choice but not necessarily an exciting one.

Introduces colors in a pleasing but not outstanding way. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-597-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

SMILE, POUT-POUT FISH

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

ALL ABOUT ME

From the Look & Learn series

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

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 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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