Simple enough for very young children but intriguing enough for older preschoolers to return to even past their board-book...

READ REVIEW

SHAPES

Subtle elements of design are used to introduce more than just basic shapes in this sophisticated board book.

Ten shapes are presented, starting with “diamond” and ending with “circle.” In between are both familiar forms and more-obscure ones: teardrop, parallelogram, stripe, and hexagon. The parallelograms are arranged in an attractive herringbone design, and the teardrops are presented as six-petaled flowers. Rectangles of different sizes are set at an angle. Layered squares encourage readers to study the page to find the basic shape. Intersecting circles are formed by concentric dots. Young children may have trouble identifying the primary shape in these colorful arrays. But on subsequent readings, and after being introduced to the concepts, older toddlers may see the parallelograms and diamonds between the six-pointed stars. The left-hand page of each spread presents a pale outline of the featured shape and its name printed in a shade predominant on the facing design. All are rendered in pastel hues of teal, yellow, pink, and light green, with detailed crosshatching, swirls, and patterning providing a visual treat and more to talk about. The exceptionally thick pages (each a full 1/8 inch thick) and a sturdy binding will help it hold up to repeat reading.

Simple enough for very young children but intriguing enough for older preschoolers to return to even past their board-book days; beautiful for all. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-76012-331-4

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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