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)