Genial starter nonfiction.

READ REVIEW

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Fun and enriching.

LEARN COLORS

A LIFT-THE-FLAP BOOK

From the Clever Playground series

There’s plenty to do in this vocabulary-building, question-and-answer, lift-the-flap guide to color.

This well-conceived primer is not a great choice for the youngest toddlers, whose undeveloped fine-motor skills would doubtless lead to torn and missing flaps in no time. But precocious young readers with some dexterity will enjoy solving the riddles and revealing the answers in this colorful effort. The verso of each double-page spread features a patterned field of saturated color. Four flaps on the page pose questions, with answers beneath, about items of that color. The recto names the featured color above a picture rendered primarily in that color. Embedded in that picture is one more flap concealing an item of a different color—“Oops! These flowers are not red! They’re blue!”—setting up the color scheme for the next spread. Each flap features a thoughtful notch to help little fingers gain purchase. This format—four questions and answers, plus one surprise that doesn’t match, every two pages—means the book is a longer read than comparably sized board books, which may well challenge a toddler’s attention span. As there’s no storyline, however, there’s no harm done if a child doesn’t make it all the way through on every reading. The colors pop, as they should; the artwork is pleasant and mostly representational (e.g., foods and flowers) with the exception of animals, who are cartoony, cute, and full of personality.

Fun and enriching. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948418-19-5

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Clever Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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