Neatly bridges the gap between board books and more complex seek-and-find titles.

LOOKY LOOKY

DISCOVER YOUR WORLD

From the Looky Looky Little One series

From the prolific board-book creator, a picture book that teaches young preschoolers to notice details.

Two double-page spreads introduce each section’s theme. A third (and in one case fourth) spread is devoted to a specific object: pigs for the farm, seahorses for the sea, and airplanes for things that go. Nine animals appear on the first spread of the baby-animals section before spreads focusing on giraffes and elephants. The seek-and-find activities grow increasingly challenging, as the differences become ever more subtle. Instructions set in white text within one large, colored dot on each spread begin “looky looky.” Clues in four smaller dots per spread point to sometimes silly features in the illustrations, such as a pig with a mustache. Occasional clues challenge emergent readers to find words printed on the page. The generous square format allows plenty of room for details in the pictures to stand out. Animals and objects outlined in Magsamen’s trademark applique-style faux stitching are clear against solid backgrounds. Cloying and clunky rhymes that open and close the book come across as unnecessary filler given the self-explanatory nature of the seek-and-find activity.

Neatly bridges the gap between board books and more complex seek-and-find titles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72821-408-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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