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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Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip.

NUMBERS EVERYWHERE

Four-line poems introduce the numbers zero to nine opposite stylized, colorful mixed-media illustrations that incorporate them.

The relevant numeral is printed clearly over each poem and worked into the pictures, with dotted blue lines to help readers find them. This device sometimes works against itself. For example, the poem headed “3” reads: “Curve out and back in— / Do it once, then repeat: / A three is red pepper / On pizza. Let’s eat!” The poem is inviting, but the red pepper 3’s on the pizza slices opposite are obscured by the dotted blue lines superimposed on them. There are also three people to count and three tuning pegs on the banjo one kid plays. Those elements of the illustration are clear enough, but locating the numeral can be hard. Most pictures share this difficulty, although some, like the two balls of the snowman representing 8, are easier to spot. (Eight children play around the snowman, and there are eight pieces of coal marking its features.) The pictures include people with varying skin tones. In acknowledgment of the difficulty of the concept, a concluding double-page spread with number shapes incorporated into the composition is followed by an identical spread with the number shapes circled for readers to confirm their guesses. The rear endpapers offer each numeral with a corresponding number of thumbnails from the appropriate earlier spread for extra practice.

Hard-to-find numbers make this counting book one to skip. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4321-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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