Relatively small pictures and potential points of confusion make this big book best for one-to-one sharing.

READ REVIEW

FIRST ENGLISH WORDS

From the First Word Board Books series

The large trim size (10 inches by 7 inches) sets this board book apart from others in the crowded market of beginning vocabulary books.

The designers make full use of the added space, with the topic of “Food” beginning on the inside of the cover and “Wild Animals” extending to the inside back cover. Ten topics familiar to young children each fill a double-page spread with 10 or 11 pictures. The uncluttered layout is enhanced by clear lowercase labels separated by plenty of white space. A ribbon of even smaller action pictures across the bottom of each page offers more to talk about. By featuring teddy bears instead of humans, race and gender stereotypes are mostly avoided. On the pages that show “Family,” the bear labeled “uncle” is wearing an apron and carrying a cake, while “grandmother” bear is shown holding two bird cages, and the spectacle-wearing “grandfather” is sleeping in a chair under a pile of books. However, children may not recognize their own families in these rather specific images. Bafflingly, given the relatively generic approach, there’s a depiction of a bear in war paint and a feathered headdress in an illustration of the number “four”—a deeply unfortunate choice. American readers may be initially confused by the occasional Briticisms (“biscuits” for cookies; “jumper” for sweater; “pyjamas”) in this import.

Relatively small pictures and potential points of confusion make this big book best for one-to-one sharing. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911509-01-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: b small/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Sure to promote toddler wanderlust; here’s hoping more excursions are en route

NEW YORK

From the My Little Cities series

The youngest tourists can take a nibble out of the Big Apple in this first installment of the My Little Cities series.

Readers visit such New York City icons as the Empire State Building, the NYC subway, Times Square, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Adams’ simple text scans nicely, using two-word lines per double-page spread to set the scene and introduce youngsters to opposites. “Listen quiet / listen loud / sit alone / or in a crowd” is paired with Broadway, Times Square, Central Park, and Yankee Stadium respectively. Pizzoli, in his muted-colored cartoons, charmingly strips each landmark to toddler-friendly essentials; the New York Public Library lions are delightful, and the Times Square crowds are refreshingly manageable. The tableaux are populated with a representative cross-section of humanity in smiling profile—never has New York City looked so friendly. The final two pages review all the sights and share two to three sentences of simple facts about each one. Using much the same format, companion London focuses on that storied city and introduces young armchair travelers to Big Ben, the London Eye, Abbey Road (with a re-enactment of the famous Beatles cover), and a double-decker bus cruising through Piccadilly Circus.

Sure to promote toddler wanderlust; here’s hoping more excursions are en route . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5388-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A generic version of the treat, with barely a hint of its ethnic origins and that’s less a usable recipe than just going...

TACOS!

AN INTERACTIVE RECIPE BOOK

From the Cook in a Book series

More yummy eats for toque-wearing toddlers to dish up.

As in Pancakes! (2016) and Pizza! (2017), Nieminen begins by laying out labeled ingredients and required kitchenware, all reduced to very simple, stylized shapes. She then goes on to offer step-by-step directions for seasoning and sauteing the meat (chicken), chopping veggies (“Real knives are sharp! Always ask an adult for help”), making guacamole, mixing corn and beans (the latter from a can), laying out all the fixings, and finally warming the (soft, premade) tortillas. Each transformation along the way is accomplished by spinning a wheel, pulling a tab, or pulling out a detachable chopping knife. Instructions are minimal—the guac is made by mashing avocado with “other ingredients,” presumably the lime, salt, and cilantro depicted above the bowl—and the note to enlist an adult sous-chef comes after the cooking stage, which seems rather late in the process. More problematically, unlike the previous outings, the payoff here is unsatisfyingly abstract: a big, stiff, chartreuse die-cut disk representing the tortilla gets forcibly folded in half after “toppings” from the previous spread are imaginarily applied.

A generic version of the treat, with barely a hint of its ethnic origins and that’s less a usable recipe than just going through (some of) the motions . (Informational novelty. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7148-7505-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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