High-quality photos of children and objects from nature and the built environment engage kids in exploring basic geometry.

SHAPES

Exciting young children about mathematical concepts is becoming increasingly important, as parents and teachers recognize the value of STEM education.

This attractive, new full-color photo essay will stimulate children to recognize, name, and categorize the basic shapes they see everywhere. The multisensory text encourages kids to associate shapes with listening and feeling. Taste and smell can also be explored. Phrases like “TRIANGLES chime...” and “OVALS pop...” will inspire poetic use of language. The introductory spread for each shape includes one photo within a cutout of the shape, for example, a red kite within a diamond-shaped background of blue sky, and the caption: “DIAMONDS fly....” The page turn reveals a grid of photos of diamond shapes, including pips on playing cards, textiles and tiles, and a baseball diamond. The text naming these images appears in one box in the grid, so identifying which photo represents what’s described becomes a game, potentially spurring creative thought. On many spreads, racially diverse children interact with the shapes; a light-brown–skinned child sports a star barrette in curly brown hair, an Asian-presenting kid holds a square, wrapped present. The book ends with a challenge in the form of photos of different shapes and a question: “What shapes do you see?” An opening note discusses the difference between plane and spatial geometry and the importance of shape identification in early learning.

High-quality photos of children and objects from nature and the built environment engage kids in exploring basic geometry. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4638-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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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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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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