Communicating the universal concept of color within the specific celebration of Holi, this gem deserves a place in every...

HOLI COLORS

Singh celebrates Holi, the Hindu festival of colors and love, and highlights six colors in this vibrant, playful board book.

Hindus celebrate Holi and the arrival of spring by tossing colored powders called gulal on one another. Short rhyming couplets, with type set within a design of the appropriate color, describe where the color is found. Some can be found everywhere (“Riding on the gentle breeze / came the GREEN of all the trees”), and some are specific to India (“Peacock brought the dreamiest BLUE— / he said he saved it just for you”). Stock photographs depict diverse children and their families and friends, with skin colors of different hues, laughing and celebrating with various Holi colors smeared over their faces and bodies. The sheer joy of the event comes through on nearly every page (and one suspects the child crying due to an eyeful of powder will brighten up soon enough), introducing the fun of the observance to all readers. A brief note at the end of the book gives more information about the festival, explaining that it “celebrates the legendary love of Lord Krishna for his beloved, Radha.”

Communicating the universal concept of color within the specific celebration of Holi, this gem deserves a place in every child’s book bag. (Board book. 2-5) (Board book2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1849-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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