A fun activity to share with children in the identify-and-name stage.



From the Whose Are These? series

A guessing game for the littlest animal lovers.

Tarsky combines a description of an animal’s ears with a close-up of those organs and a clue as to the animal’s habitat. While the only time the question is asked is in the title, readers will quickly catch on and chime in with their guesses. The text “big ears” accompanies two pointy, orange-furred ears against a white backdrop with bluish paw prints (fox). “Little ears” shows the side of a gorilla, including an arm and the curve of the backside, leafy vines trailing down the green background. The opposites continue with such pairs as “stand-up” and “floppy” and “round” and “pointy.” No answers are provided in the text; instead, the endpapers (back and front are identical) label a small picture of the full animal with the name and ear description of each of the 16 pairs of ears. Some of the pages are more challenging than others (and some are giveaways), and readers will certainly be introduced to new animals (an armadillo has “hard ears”). Publishing simultaneously, Whose Feet? follows the same format and features a few of the same animals from Ears along with new ones, including polar bear (“four wet feet”), lion (“fat feet”), squirrel (“digging feet”), and tortoise (“slow feet”). The simple, black-outlined artwork keeps the focus on the relevant features and clues.

A fun activity to share with children in the identify-and-name stage. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-9040-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Genial starter nonfiction.


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.


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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