There are plenty of picture books about colors, but they’re not all love letters. This one is.

COLORS

Explore colors through photographs.

Detailed in succinct, subtly poetic text, the six core spectrum colors plus black and white each receive two full-bleed double-page spreads in a row. Each color’s initial spread names it and assigns it a verb—“green hops”—across from a checkerboard of many shades of that color, with a photograph replacing one square. For green, that square is a frog photo. Green’s second spread presents text inside a rectangle—“Green grass grows. Green peppers, leaves and peas. Lizards and limes, green eyes”—and varying sizes of rectangular, close-up photos. Neat green borders glue the photo rectangles together, leaving no white space. Other colors follow the same format. The verbs don’t connect to their hues inherently—“blue floats” mightn’t work out of context—but the black girl in the turquoise swimsuit floating blissfully in blue water provides all the sense in the world. Rotner’s photographs are crisp, glowing, and crystal clear, bursting with nature and joy, making daily objects gorgeous. A yellow slicker and a sunny-side up egg positively glisten; an orange sunset almost requires sunglasses. The children (a multiracial cast) vary between facing the camera and doing their own thing, like blowing up a purple balloon or licking an orange Popsicle.

There are plenty of picture books about colors, but they’re not all love letters. This one is. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4063-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 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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Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere.

HELLO, DINOSAURS!

From the Animal Facts and Flaps series

Colorful, fun, and informative guide for pint-sized dinosaur enthusiasts.

Kid-friendly and more informative than most dino books for tots, this lift-the-flap dinosaur book is a great next step for any kid with an interest in the subject. Each double-page panorama—occasionally folding out to three or even four pages wide—is organized around types of dinosaurs or habitats. While most featured dinosaurs are land dwellers, prehistoric reptiles of the sea and sky appear as well. Dinosaurs are rendered in bright colors on a white background in a childlike style that makes even Tyrannosaurus rex not too terrifying. Make no mistake, though; the king of the dinosaurs is clearly labeled “CARNIVORE.” Folding T. rex’s head back reveals a black-and-white handsaw, to which the text likens its enormous, sharp teeth. Another marginal illustration, captioned, “Watch out! T. rex is looking for its lunch,” shows a Triceratops specimen on a plate. Yet another reads, “Crushed dinosaur bones have been found in T. rex poop!” Several racially diverse kids appear in each scene, like toddler scientists variously observing, inspecting, and riding on the dinosaurs depicted. In addition to teaching the difference between herbivores and carnivores, the book also conveys a sense of the scale of these prehistoric beasts: Diplodocus is two school buses long, a Triceratops adult is the size of an elephant, and a Velociraptor is the size of a turkey, for example.

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0809-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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