A fun and interactively informative introduction to the animal kingdom.

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sweet idea, but these cupcakes are missing some key ingredients.

STIR CRACK WHISK BAKE

A LITTLE BOOK ABOUT LITTLE CAKES

America’s Test Kitchen invites young children to bake pretend cupcakes.

Smiling bowls, cups, and spoons guide would-be cooks through the basic steps of baking. The instructions start out clearly: “First, we gather the ingredients.” Then pretend takes over. Unfortunately, the applike instruction to “Use your finger to drag each one to the counter” makes no sense, as the ingredients don’t actually move, and unlike Hervé Tullet’s books, the page turn does not work the appropriate magic. Nor can the spilled flour on the next page be brushed off. Similarly, swiping a finger around the edge of a bowl will not mix batter, tapping pictures of eggs will not crack them, and bowls of dry and wet ingredients cannot be combined just by shaking them. Finally, after many pretend steps, the child can count down with the timer until the cupcakes are done. On the next spread they are asked to blow on the cakes to cool them enough to frost. Then a bowl of frosting magically arrives, and the child is invited to “dip your fingers in the frosting” to frost each cake. Yes, this is imaginary play. But simple, age-appropriate instructions—measure, mix, pour, bake, frost, sprinkle, enjoy—accompanied by clear illustrations would more effectively entice toddlers into the kitchen than this. Counterintuitively, there is no simple recipe with tips on baking with tots for caregivers.

Sweet idea, but these cupcakes are missing some key ingredients. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7773-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Attractive but disappointing.

WILD ANIMAL SOUNDS

From the Little Kids First Board Book series

National Geographic brings its gorgeous, accurate wildlife photography to toddlers.

One double-page spread is devoted to each of 10 animals (some may feel that calling chipmunks, frogs, and ducks “wild” is stretching it a bit). The animals hail from all over the map—from an elephant and a zebra to a black bear and a wolf. The sound each creature makes begins the text, followed by a sentence speculating what the animal might be communicating. Six of the spreads highlight an additional animal fact in a bright yellow circle. White thought bubbles on seven spreads that attempt to inject humor are less successful. For example, in response to the wolf’s howl, the wolf pups think, “Should we answer?” Similarly, on a different spread, the primary text reads, “Roar! Time for dinner, the mother tiger calls.” The tiger cub wonders in response, “What’s the catch of the day?” The typical board-book audience of babies and toddlers will not get the jokes, and preschoolers are ready for more-substantial books. The needless anthropomorphization detracts from what could be simple, useful nonfiction. The final spread reprises six of the animals in a guessing game to “Match the animals with the sounds they make.” Ocean, published simultaneously, is similarly formatted (and flawed), but all the creatures featured share the ocean habitat.

Attractive but disappointing. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3466-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more