In this primer of common words for toddlers to learn, there are flaps to lift, textures to feel, and photos to name.
Each double-page spread focuses on a certain domain of a young child’s experiences and includes “Family,” “My Body,” “Food and Drink,” “Out and About,” and “Colors and Shapes.” The layout design repeats across the project, which includes eight flaps with photographs on the outer and inner flaps with a one-word caption and a larger image on the recto and a small textural element embedded inside. While the clear photos are an excellent choice for the very young, the flaps are on the small side for little ones still developing motor skills, as are most of the images and the textures. Some of the images above and below the flaps relate or are opposites (plane/sky and black/white); others come across as haphazardly connected (glasses/knee). The companion titles in the series follow the same formula. First 100 Things That Go divides vehicles up into very loose categories (planes with snow vehicles?), but the range of conveyances is impressive, from inner tube to space station. The groupings in First 100 Animals are a bit more cohesive, but the connections between the images on the outer and inner flaps are opaque in most cases except for the names of the grown-up and corresponding baby critters (sheep/lamb) on the farm-animal spread. The tot-sized handle at the top of each book will likely be a hit with this demographic.
While an admirable effort to give toddlers what they love, this and its companions are overly busy and prove that less is more with young children. (Board book. 1-3)