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

READ REVIEW

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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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: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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The flimsy construction and poor art and verse make it ill-suited for older children, too.

CHICK PEA AND THE CHANGING TREES

In this “pull-the-tab book about the seasons,” a chick and a bluebird visit the same tree throughout the year.

Readers pull none-too-sturdy sliding panels to alter the tree’s appearance. In the four internal double-page spreads, autumn leaves fall off the tree, snow covers it, blossoms speckle it, and apples change from green to red in this before-and-after interactive feature. The graphically flat art in springtime colors is rather fussy; the striped backgrounds resembling wallpaper patterns in various muted hues are an odd choice for these outdoor scenes. The rhyming verse, with stilted line breaks, describes the birds’ reactions to the changing seasons: “Chick Pea and Sweet Pea look up and see / new leaves and flowers all over the tree! / But the flowers drop their petals. / They’re starting to fall. / And Chick Pea is trying to / catch them all.” The pull-tab also reveals an additional couplet in which an unseen narrator reassures the critters and gives hints as to what the duo will see next season. While is does not point to any choking hazards, the fine print on the back of the book states that it is “Not suitable for children under 3 years of age.”

The flimsy construction and poor art and verse make it ill-suited for older children, too. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7641-6593-1

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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