Winning photos but unsatisfyingly small touch-and-feel elements.

BIBLE ANIMALS

From the Baby Touch and Feel series

An introduction to a menagerie of animals found in the Bible, with tactile swatches embedded in the pages, for the littlest readers.

Most of the images are clear photos set, in signature DK fashion, against a white or solid color background. Each animal—an ox, a camel and calf, a lion, a sheep, and more—is captioned with a black sans-serif lowercase label, and a small textural feature, often less than a square inch, is set into the page. The whale has a bit of blue-gray vinyl on its tail, and the donkey has a blue fabric blanket. A few creatures, such as the lamb and the dove, appear with embossed textural elements (shiny hay, feathers) instead of embedded fabrics. For no apparent reason, the shiny foil image of the fish is not a photo but rather the only graphic representation in the book. Biblically literate grown-ups will recognize that these animals appear in the Bible, but there is no quote or verse notation to locate them.

Winning photos but unsatisfyingly small touch-and-feel elements. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-8015-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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