The engaging images and familiar terms presented will appeal to little ones and help them to add to their quickly expanding...

100 FIRST WORDS

This oversized lift-the-flap word book presents 100 terms that toddlers can relate to.

Each large page is devoted to a category central to a toddler’s life: toys, party time, bed and bath, clothes, fruit and vegetables, food, at the zoo, at the beach, on the farm, pets, out and about, and things that go. The individual words presented within each category are items that youngsters will be familiar with and interested by. The toy category, for instance, features a train, a ball, a block, a robot, rings, paint and paintbrushes, and a xylophone. Every page consists of a set of square and rectangular flaps bearing images—many of which incorporate photographs of babies and toddlers, most Caucasian—on bright, bold backgrounds. When the flaps are lifted, the word is revealed, along with another picture that represents it. It’s not for babies and toddlers to explore on their own—the book is hefty, and the flaps are difficult to grasp and manipulate (they lift in different directions)—but suitable for guided exploration. A companion volume, 100 First Animals (978-1-58925-608-8), follows the same format, featuring these categories: pets, farm, safari, sea, woods, jungle, snow, rivers and lakes, bugs, desert, birds and nighttime.

The engaging images and familiar terms presented will appeal to little ones and help them to add to their quickly expanding vocabularies. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-607-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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