While a lovely package, it will float over the heads of most board-book readers.

TASTE THE CLOUDS

A child experiences synesthesia in a surrealistic landscape.

In each double-page spread, Marshall poses a poetic query; the first is: “Do you believe I can touch the stars?” The brown-haired, white youngster, wearing the same blue dress and accompanied by a faithful dog in each scene, plucks a star out of the sky and rides on the back of a giant owl in response. When asked to consider whether it’s possible to “smell a rainbow,” readers see the child peer over the edge of an oversized cauldron as the steam forms an arcing rainbow. Domeniconi’s jewel-toned, Magritte-inspired paintings employ a haunting light and playfully illustrate the words. A highlight is the page (and also the cover) that realizes the line “Taste the clouds?” as the tyke picks a cloud from a tree as if it were fruit. As captivating as the images are, will very young children, who are still learning to describe their own senses, be able to make the poetic leap to seeing music and listening to colors? The text becomes muddy at the end, and it is unclear who is responding to whom in the book’s questioning format.

While a lovely package, it will float over the heads of most board-book readers. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56846-285-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life.

PANTONE COLOR PUZZLES

6 COLOR-MATCHING PUZZLES

Another overdesigned board book, with puzzle pieces this time, from PANTONE, the company that creates the widely used color matching system.

Each double-page spread focuses on one color of the rainbow. The left-hand side is a full-page, graphically minded scene using a variety of hues of the color in question. On the facing pages, the PANTONE chips make their appearance, four shades occupying the four quadrants of the page separated by a bold white line in typical PANTONE fashion. Both sides of each page spread carry four shaped indentations to hold abstract puzzle shapes made of paperboard. Featuring machines that go on the left, the red spread has pieces that become the door and siren on a fire truck. These same pieces fit into slots labeled “Stop Sign Red / PANTONE 485” and “Brick Red / PANTONE 7627” on the right. While the cartoon tableaux are droll, the use of PANTONE numbers will make little sense to youngsters. The puzzle pieces themselves are relatively easy to get in and out once loosened, but, after a few readings, they will likely flake at the edges if they are not lost altogether. The small pieces force this message on the back cover: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0939-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers.

KALEIDOSCOPE

Gorgeous patterns peel away layers of color and depth within this kaleidoscope.

A die-cut circle frames the center of the device, and each turn of the page adds a different, textured nuance with scallops and points. Viewing the shapes and colors with the textured lens embedded in the cover causes them to emulate the effect of a real kaleidoscope. The text takes readers through the seasons, turn by turn, as leaves drop, rain falls, and snowflakes drift to the ground. The typography swirls and swoops, contributing to the feeling of movement both visually and linguistically. “Steeping, steaming, / lemon squeezing. / Tipping, pouring, / soothing, pleasing.” The words mimic the movements of the steam, floating up from the cup. Bold backgrounds extend from one side of the scene to the next. Mechanically, the manipulation of the embedded lens is a challenge, the wheel requiring more coordination than the toddler set can provide. Due to the small parts included, the warning label discourages children younger than 3 from independently poring over these pages.

Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18641-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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