This book does a competent-enough job of representing each season in a way appropriate for young readers, though the...

READ REVIEW

IS IT WARM ENOUGH FOR ICE CREAM?

This board book explores the four seasons and their hallmarks through the repeated, titular question.

Each season receives uniform treatment: a two-page spread describing the features and weather, followed by another examining whether or not it’s the right time of year to eat ice cream. The layout is likewise consistent: a four-panel grid on one page paired with a full-page illustration. This design thoughtfully provides an age-appropriate familiarity of structure. Photographs are placed on digitally rendered backgrounds and enhanced with collage elements; they are simple and clear even though the cartoonish people look a bit silly next to realistic images. There is an intentional, successful symmetry of facts across each season. The birds who fly south in the fall return to lay eggs in the spring, while baby birds learn to fly in the summer. The “Is it warm enough for ice cream?” prompt isn’t completely effective, often forcing awkward answers such as “No! But it’s windy enough to fly a kite and… / watch a pinwheel spin.” Is a spinning pinwheel really a sure sign of the fall and windy weather?

This book does a competent-enough job of representing each season in a way appropriate for young readers, though the question of whether or not it’s warm enough for ice cream is beside the point. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6786-7

Page Count: 18

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good.

SHAPE UP, CONSTRUCTION TRUCKS!

Storytime gets a kick in the pants with this jaunty combo of shapes and vehicles.

In this look at basic geometry via high-resolution photographs of construction trucks, the youngest of readers are introduced to nine different shapes. Using a seek-and-find format, the book encourages them to locate each shape as it appears on a vehicle, clearly delineated with thick, colorful lines. A clear, red triangle decorates the bed of a dump truck; a blue oval surrounds the barrel of a concrete mixer. The rhyming text names the featured equipment, each shot with crystal clarity outdoors on a variety of beautiful days. From the jaunty little red forklift sporting a rectangle on its side to the rhombus of a road sign snapped at an angle, small fingers will have no difficulty tracing each of the featured shapes again and again. Similar in its cadences to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle (1967), this book is ideal for construction storytimes everywhere. “Road roller / Road roller / Coming through! / I spy a circle— / How about you?” Be sure to sing it to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” if you really want to bring down the house. Activities to further engage young children are included at the end of the book.

Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77278-134-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

You can count on this one to be a bland yet passable learning tool.

MY FIRST NUMBERS

Insects and animals help readers count from one through 10.

In this number-focused board book, each themed double-page spread invites readers to practice counting. A cartoon puppy looks down at a scattering of bones, for example, and declares, “I can count NINE bones,” on the left-hand side of one such layout; over the gutter, there is a stock photograph of nine tennis balls and a large 9 along with text inviting readers to count. Each turn of the page follows this pattern, progressing by one number higher. The format is familiar and formulaic, conventional and utilitarian. That said, it serves its purpose of presenting new learners with a clear and recognizable tool for number recognition and counting practice. The cartoons have the impersonal look of clip art, and the photographs presented against a stark white background are simple and repetitive. The number five page, for example, shows five identical turtles as opposed to five different turtles or one turtle in five different positions or environments, a missed opportunity for visual interest. In contrast, companion title My First Colors introduces a color and then shows photographs of different items in that color, displaying more illustrative depth but following the same predictable format. While neither of these books does anything groundbreaking, they do a competent job of presenting these timeless concepts for pre-readers.

You can count on this one to be a bland yet passable learning tool. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4413-3308-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more