A straightforward and lively introduction to the democratic process for readers older than babies.

BABY LOVES POLITICAL SCIENCE

DEMOCRACY!

From the Baby Loves… series

Baby learns about the elections in this latest entry to the Baby Loves… series.

A toddler with light-brown skin works with her white mommy to color signs and put stamps on postcards to get out the vote, and she cheers Mommy on when she “puts the ballot into the machine.” Along the way, Baby explores key aspects of the political process with her white mom and another, brown-skinned caregiver, such as campaigning, candidates, and the different types of political leaders. It is a simplified and rosy picture of American democracy, asserting confidently that the “candidate with the most votes wins,” and political opponents “can still be friends” after an election. The art is a toddler-centric, idealized world in a bold, bright cartoon style featuring political candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. There is a female-presenting president, a black, male-presenting vice president, a brown-skinned, hijabi senator, and a white, male-presenting representative who uses a wheelchair. While the explanations, imagery, and suggested activities are spot-on for older preschoolers, the format and the “baby” label make the content developmentally inappropriate for the target audience of babies and toddlers. Little ones still learning to label things in their homes and their neighborhoods will be hard-pressed to understand the basics of civic engagement.

A straightforward and lively introduction to the democratic process for readers older than babies. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62354-227-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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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Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip.

NUMBERS EVERYWHERE

Four-line poems introduce the numbers zero to nine opposite stylized, colorful mixed-media illustrations that incorporate them.

The relevant numeral is printed clearly over each poem and worked into the pictures, with dotted blue lines to help readers find them. This device sometimes works against itself. For example, the poem headed “3” reads: “Curve out and back in— / Do it once, then repeat: / A three is red pepper / On pizza. Let’s eat!” The poem is inviting, but the red pepper 3’s on the pizza slices opposite are obscured by the dotted blue lines superimposed on them. There are also three people to count and three tuning pegs on the banjo one kid plays. Those elements of the illustration are clear enough, but locating the numeral can be hard. Most pictures share this difficulty, although some, like the two balls of the snowman representing 8, are easier to spot. (Eight children play around the snowman, and there are eight pieces of coal marking its features.) The pictures include people with varying skin tones. In acknowledgment of the difficulty of the concept, a concluding double-page spread with number shapes incorporated into the composition is followed by an identical spread with the number shapes circled for readers to confirm their guesses. The rear endpapers offer each numeral with a corresponding number of thumbnails from the appropriate earlier spread for extra practice.

Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4321-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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