Information overload for toddlers.

PHYSICS ANIMATED!

Too much, too soon?

In this newest example of a board book aimed at parents intent on turning tots into overachieving science prodigies when they’re barely out of diapers, Isaac Newton discovers that “everything could be explained by three simple laws.” What follows is a mess of true science accompanied by artwork with movable elements that illustrates with varying degrees of clarity the scientific principles in question. Unfortunately, the material is poorly contextualized for toddlers. Even Isaac Newton is confusing. With his round face, long gray hair, and ruffled sleeves, he’s likely to be misidentified as someone’s kindly old grandmother. As children have no knowledge of 17th- and 18th-century fashion, simply calling him “Sir,” the title he eventually earned, might have helped eliminate confusion, but Jorden doesn’t take that route. Then there’s the science. Various laws of physics are stated whole, as they might be introduced in a junior high school or high school science class. The illustrations do illustrate each point, but expecting children to relate these dry statements of scientific fact to what’s going on in the pictures seems an overreach. The book ignores the opportunity to tie Newton’s observations to children’s natural curiosity. Often, the exposition presents concepts in terms that themselves require definition, adding to the confusion.

Information overload for toddlers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64170-132-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere.

HELLO, DINOSAURS!

From the Animal Facts and Flaps series

Colorful, fun, and informative guide for pint-sized dinosaur enthusiasts.

Kid-friendly and more informative than most dino books for tots, this lift-the-flap dinosaur book is a great next step for any kid with an interest in the subject. Each double-page panorama—occasionally folding out to three or even four pages wide—is organized around types of dinosaurs or habitats. While most featured dinosaurs are land dwellers, prehistoric reptiles of the sea and sky appear as well. Dinosaurs are rendered in bright colors on a white background in a childlike style that makes even Tyrannosaurus rex not too terrifying. Make no mistake, though; the king of the dinosaurs is clearly labeled “CARNIVORE.” Folding T. rex’s head back reveals a black-and-white handsaw, to which the text likens its enormous, sharp teeth. Another marginal illustration, captioned, “Watch out! T. rex is looking for its lunch,” shows a Triceratops specimen on a plate. Yet another reads, “Crushed dinosaur bones have been found in T. rex poop!” Several racially diverse kids appear in each scene, like toddler scientists variously observing, inspecting, and riding on the dinosaurs depicted. In addition to teaching the difference between herbivores and carnivores, the book also conveys a sense of the scale of these prehistoric beasts: Diplodocus is two school buses long, a Triceratops adult is the size of an elephant, and a Velociraptor is the size of a turkey, for example.

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0809-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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