A fun and interactively informative introduction to the animal kingdom.

READ REVIEW

WHOSE NOSE?

From the Whose Are These? series

Partial views of several animals highlighting noses ask readers to guess the name of each based on a singular descriptive word.

Opposite concepts are presented for each pair of noses, as in the opening pages: “big nose / tiny nose.” The rather substantial nose of a proboscis monkey is on the left page, and the wee snout of a mouse is on the right. The full animal is never revealed in the black-outlined full-bleed paintings, requiring a guess of the animal’s name. So for the proboscis monkey, a portion of its face and body are shown, while for the mouse, just its whiskered nose peeks out from behind a rounded mouse hole. Readers must refer to the endpaper key to confirm the correct answers. The concept continues throughout, pairing shapes, sizes, and other nose-related features. The simplicity of each two-word phrase with its hidden picture provides opportunities for discussion. The familiar animals will be easily identified, while the lesser known, such as the “narrow nose” of a shrew or the “red nose” of a mandrill, will need some contemplation. Similarly, Whose Tail employs the same strategy; tails are drawn from a fairly easy mixture of farm and zoo animals except, perhaps, for the meerkat. Both end with human portrayals, Nose showing a man’s mustachioed nose and a child’s freckled one (both are white) while Tail depicts children of color, one with no tail and the other wearing a fox costume with a big bushy tail.

A fun and interactively informative introduction to the animal kingdom. (Informational picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-9046-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books.

MY BODY

From the Hello World! series

An introduction to the body for the youngest readers.

It’s an endlessly fascinating topic, but here it is explained in wordy and needlessly exclamatory detail. On the opening spread three children play: One flies a kite, another plays hopscotch, and a third hangs upside down from a branch while the text explains that “your body can do so many things!” Basic facts about each body part are explained on subsequent spreads—more or less. A spread devoted to the belly button gives no hint to its original purpose. A busy park scene with all the characters and summary text that emphasizes the importance of “Lots of sleep, good food, and plenty of exercise” ends this compendium. McDonald’s attempts to be inclusive don’t quite succeed. A brown-skinned boy playing wheelchair basketball is used to explain arm joints, and there are several other children of color in the book. But on the page about hearing, the brown-skinned tot’s prominent ears and his placement in a tree make him look more like a monkey than a child—an unfortunate association. Many spreads include a question that relates to the topic but could also prove distracting. An additional fact on each spread set in a smaller font is clearly for older children or grown-ups, not toddlers.

More information than toddlers will sit still for; not enough for preschoolers who are outgrowing board books. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6636-8

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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