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From the Look & Learn series

A solid introduction to things seen above.

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! A plane! And lots of other things!

This board book explores everything the sky has to offer. From kites to bubbles to rainbows, the atmosphere holds many lovely things, and little readers will get to know many of them with this simple read. At the start of each section, little ones are told to “Look up!” and spot each individual object in the sky. Once it’s been identified, the text gives small supporting details in the following double-page spread (“The wind blows the kite in the air”; “A bubble is round”) before moving on to another aerial object. The pictures are bright and keenly composed, using National Geographic’s trademark straightforward style. The children depicted are all light-skinned. Companion title Peek-a-boo is published concurrently and uses the same narrative structure to introduce little readers to creatures living in the wild. Both books are simple but effective.

A solid introduction to things seen above. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2454-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Is this a nature book? Not really. But with beautiful young faces respecting living creatures, it is a great choice for...

With expressions of wonder and delight, little toddlers explore nature in its tiniest forms, seeing critters and flowers with the curiosity of new eyes.

McPike and Barton have created a companion book to their comforting bedtime read-aloud, Little Sleepyhead (2015). This outing repeats the same rhythmic couplets, bringing together the simplest of flora and fauna with a racially diverse group of toddlers. Barton uses digitized pencil sketches to capture the wide-eyed, breath-holding feeling of seeing a caterpillar for the first time. The children’s delight in the snails, bluebirds, and bunnies is a gentle introduction to quietly observing nature. "Little bitty chipmunks, chattering all the day / Little bitty ladybug always comes to play." (Here a ladybug crawls across a giggling toddler’s forehead.) The illustrations are open and breezy with white space, and the spare text printed in different colors keeps the focus simple. While the repeated phrase of "little bitty" provides a consistent thread from beginning to end, the uniqueness of every child is clear. Yet even the wide range of skin tones and hairstyles is secondary to the universal feeling of wonder.

Is this a nature book? Not really. But with beautiful young faces respecting living creatures, it is a great choice for toddler libraries. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17255-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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From the Teenie Greenies series

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon.

A young girl watches her garden grow.

Though she's a bit older than the typical board-book audience, her self-reliance makes her an appealing character for toddlers struggling to assert their independence. The strategic use of sturdy flaps provides both peekaboo fun and structure to the storyline. “Yellow daisy. / Red rose. / A bud blooms. / [lift flap] A flower grows.” Some of the interactive elements clearly connect objects to one another (shovel, pail), while other pairings review the progress of the blossoming outdoors. The child enjoys the results of her hard work (smelling a flower has never been so sweet) and waters her lush plants with her pint-sized watering can. Varied vocabulary extends the text. “Harvest carrots / . . . squash and peas. / [lift flap] Pollinated by the bees.” Perhaps due to their having been printed on recycled paper with soy inks, the matte sides of the flaps tend to be darker than the rest, which are glossy.

Put on those gardening gloves; the fruits of this labor beckon. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93041-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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