While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to...

LOOK WHAT I CAN DO

A FIRST CONCEPTS BOOK

From the Guess How Much I Love You series

Little Nutbrown Hare explores colors, actions, shapes, numbers, sounds and the natural world on seven double-page spreads as his doting father looks on.

Beyond the basic captions typically found in concept books, the text includes father-and-son dialogue that echoes Guess How Much I Love You: “Would you rather be a caterpillar or a frog?” asks Big Nutbrown Hare. “I’d rather be big like you,” the little one replies. Jeram’s lovely, soft watercolors appear to be a mix of illustrations recycled from other books in the popular series and original paintings. As a concept book, it is a mixed bag. The pages focusing on numbers are the most successful, with oversized numbers on the outsides of 10 flaps and pictures of dainty critters, from one bird to 10 ladybugs, to count on the insides. Less effective is the spread demonstrating colors; it utilizes flimsier flaps with blocks of the hue in question on the exteriors and almost-too-subtle-in-color illustrations of vegetation on the interiors. While the pages titled “Actions” effectively show the young hare engaging in a nice variety of movements (including sniffing and blowing), the “Shapes” section only introduces three shapes, and the geometric square looks a little out of place in this English wood.

While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to teaching about a more conceptual world. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7064-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more