Eyestrain-inducing.

READ REVIEW

TINY TOWN

A hip kid gives readers a tour of the titular, diminutive town.

Each double-page spread represents a different “Tiny” location, including a bakery, a pet store, a bookstore, and a floral shop. The tour guide appears on every page and has a strange grayish-tan complexion. A die-cut window appears on every page and gives readers a glimpse of what is to come. While Ultman’s graphic style, which employs pastel colors and whimsical lines, can be clever, much of the art will be too small for both toddler and adult eyes to fully appreciate. Captions are teeny, and the objects themselves, such as the pink mustache the tour guide dons in the dress-up section at the toy store or the key to this resident’s “Tiny Home,” are so small as to make them difficult to classify. Other things and animals are so stylized they challenge identification: the toy-store blocks look like dollhouses, and many of the foods in the grocery store will be a stretch for toddlers to name. In the companion book, Tiny Farm, a youngster with white skin, bobbed black hair, and a yellow dress shows readers such tiny farm locales such as the horse stall, the pigpen, and the “Tiny You-Pick Patch.” While the board pages are substantially thick, the thinnish binding may prove to be what shortens the life spans of both titles.

Eyestrain-inducing. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5157-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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