Both titles are clear and successful in their mission if a little boring. Flashcards in board-book form. (Board book. 2-5)

COUNT 123

From the My First Touch and Trace series

Starting at one teddy bear and continuing up to 20 jelly beans, readers are encouraged to count clear, stock photos and trace numbers in this tactile lift-the-flap book.

Above the flap, a specific number is introduced (“four penguins”), and under the flap, youngsters are encouraged to count and determine the amount on their own (“How many cars?”). An oversized image of the numeral accompanies the objects to be counted, and a channel in the page allows readers to trace the number. A dotted line with arrows shows young learners how to trace the number with their fingers, with a gray circle showing where to begin and a red one, where to stop. Colorful, tactile dots on the final pages let little ones practice counting as they drag their fingers down the page. This works with numbers one through 10, but gets near impossible with 11 through 20, as the dots shrink to fit the space. The companion title, First ABC (978-1-58925-66-2), follows in kind. One object, animal or person starting with the featured letter appears above the flap (“Bb is for balloons”), and another is revealed below (“Bb is bear”). Again, a channel in the page is provided so readers can trace the uppercase letters, but, strangely enough, not the lowercase ones. The images chosen for each letter, from an alligator to a zipper, are easily recognized, typical alphabet-book fair. The flaps, which could have been sturdier, provide few surprises.

Both titles are clear and successful in their mission if a little boring. Flashcards in board-book form. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-625-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple,...

TEN EASTER EGGS

A cheerful brown bunny hiding behind the edges of an Easter basket looks just as surprised as young children will be to find the chicks revealed as each egg “hatches.”

With help from a reading partner, young children are encouraged to count down the eggs as they disappear with each page turn. Alternatively, they can count up as the chicks are revealed. A simple phrase at the top of each right-hand page states the number of eggs in the basket. The line at the bottom (half of a rhyming couplet) tells how many chicks readers should look for. The numbers are spelled out, requiring young children to recognize the word instead of the more familiar numeral. On the left-hand page, the spaces previously occupied by an egg begin to fill with meadow plants and critters, eventually becoming a scene as busy and cheerful as a greeting card. This book begs to be touched. Each egg is made of shaped plastic that protrudes through die-cut holes on the verso; they can be pressed but seem to be securely anchored. The pastel chicks are lightly flocked, providing an additional tactile experience. Although the pages are thicker than paper, young fingers may find the holes a convenient way to grip (and possibly tear) the pages.

There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple, nonreligious holiday book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-74730-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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