Babies will enjoy turning the holiday-festooned pages, but will they get the science?

ANGULAR MOMENTUM ON HANUKKAH!

From the Baby Loves Science series

A kippah-wearing tot celebrates Hanukkah and learns the science behind spinning dreidels.

A White-presenting child with dark brown hair puts toy candles in a menorah and spins a dreidel with a young friend with medium brown skin and light brown hair. The simple text and illustrations go on to explain torque, angular momentum, and friction to elucidate how a dreidel spins upright before eventually falling over. The companion title, Electrical Engineering on Christmas! follows a similar formula. A baby with light brown skin and wavy, brown hair learns how a Christmas tree lights up via electricity, how an atom carries an electrical charge, where electricity can be found naturally, how a circuit is formed, and how people make electricity. A few holiday tidbits are shared in both offerings, as each kid guest stars in the companion title, with the welcome reminder that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Chan’s art, like others in the Baby Loves Science series, does an admirable job of illustrating the science and looking inviting and playful in bright jewel tones. While the concepts are clearly explained and will work well for a preschool and early-elementary audience, many of the abstract ideas, particularly atomic theory and friction, may be a bit much for the putative baby audience.

Babies will enjoy turning the holiday-festooned pages, but will they get the science? (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-190-3

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere.

HELLO, DINOSAURS!

From the Animal Facts and Flaps series

Colorful, fun, and informative guide for pint-sized dinosaur enthusiasts.

Kid-friendly and more informative than most dino books for tots, this lift-the-flap dinosaur book is a great next step for any kid with an interest in the subject. Each double-page panorama—occasionally folding out to three or even four pages wide—is organized around types of dinosaurs or habitats. While most featured dinosaurs are land dwellers, prehistoric reptiles of the sea and sky appear as well. Dinosaurs are rendered in bright colors on a white background in a childlike style that makes even Tyrannosaurus rex not too terrifying. Make no mistake, though; the king of the dinosaurs is clearly labeled “CARNIVORE.” Folding T. rex’s head back reveals a black-and-white handsaw, to which the text likens its enormous, sharp teeth. Another marginal illustration, captioned, “Watch out! T. rex is looking for its lunch,” shows a Triceratops specimen on a plate. Yet another reads, “Crushed dinosaur bones have been found in T. rex poop!” Several racially diverse kids appear in each scene, like toddler scientists variously observing, inspecting, and riding on the dinosaurs depicted. In addition to teaching the difference between herbivores and carnivores, the book also conveys a sense of the scale of these prehistoric beasts: Diplodocus is two school buses long, a Triceratops adult is the size of an elephant, and a Velociraptor is the size of a turkey, for example.

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0809-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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