Setting aside the repetitive text, this one is worth picking up for the rich, absorbing illustrations of lesser-known...

READ REVIEW

SPOT, SPIKE, SPIRAL

Insects and animals that feature prominent spots, spikes, and spirals are depicted in vibrant watercolor.

This board book comes from the team behind Dot, Stripe, Squiggle (2018), and similarly, it’s also all in the name. It opens with a series of three progressions of the words, “Spot / Spike / Spiral,” each featured on its own two-page spread, matched with an insect or animal featuring one of those three descriptors. Tuttle’s text is basic and simple, with only slight changes thanks to some ellipses, exclamation points, and arbitrary-feeling capitalization. Nerlove’s incredibly rich and detailed watercolor illustrations drive all of the reader interest. Though the pages appear sparse and the illustrations are shown on a starkly contrasting, all-white background, they encourage readers to linger and look. There is so much to absorb and study: the depth of color variation in the blue poison dart frog’s skin and the tiny fly capturing its attention, the gorgeous rainbow of color and pattern on the lanternfly. The last two pages show each animal or insect and its complete name—a nice touch and certainly necessary for curious young readers.

Setting aside the repetitive text, this one is worth picking up for the rich, absorbing illustrations of lesser-known animals and insects. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-56846-333-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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For very young children already buggy for bugs. (Board book. 1-3)

BUGS!

From the DR. Books series

There’s plenty of information and instruction crammed into this 5 ½-inch-square board book.

Hutton starts with the opening lines of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” leaving blanks to indicate where readers should fill in key words. Caregivers of toddlers who do not know the song will need to supply the words until their children are familiar enough with it to play the game. On the third page the tone shifts to conversational questioning, providing a model of dialogic reading. The adult reader speaks directly to the child: “Did you just see a bug? What kind of bug was it?…Was it BIG or small? Inside or outside?” The next six pages continue in that vein, providing information in response to the questions. Pages 11 and 12 refer to the rhyme again: “What’s that spider doing? Yes, it’s climbing! Climbing up a water spout! Climbing up a water spout at Grandpa’s house!” This method of repetition and expansion on an idea is excellent practice for beginning readers, but again, toddlers may need time to adjust. The final spread returns to a question likely to engage toddlers, with no practice necessary: “What’s your favorite kind of bug?” Colorful illustrations in shades of blue, green, and brown are only semirealistic; they emphasize a friendly look instead of a creepy one, potentially disappointing for young entomologists fascinated by the real thing.

For very young children already buggy for bugs. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-936669-80-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good.

SHAPE UP, CONSTRUCTION TRUCKS!

Storytime gets a kick in the pants with this jaunty combo of shapes and vehicles.

In this look at basic geometry via high-resolution photographs of construction trucks, the youngest of readers are introduced to nine different shapes. Using a seek-and-find format, the book encourages them to locate each shape as it appears on a vehicle, clearly delineated with thick, colorful lines. A clear, red triangle decorates the bed of a dump truck; a blue oval surrounds the barrel of a concrete mixer. The rhyming text names the featured equipment, each shot with crystal clarity outdoors on a variety of beautiful days. From the jaunty little red forklift sporting a rectangle on its side to the rhombus of a road sign snapped at an angle, small fingers will have no difficulty tracing each of the featured shapes again and again. Similar in its cadences to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle (1967), this book is ideal for construction storytimes everywhere. “Road roller / Road roller / Coming through! / I spy a circle— / How about you?” Be sure to sing it to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” if you really want to bring down the house. Activities to further engage young children are included at the end of the book.

Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77278-134-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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