The tactile elements, engaging visuals, and provocative word clusters offer a rewarding experience for adults and tots alike.

VEHICLES

From the TouchThinkLearn series

Different types of vehicles are introduced using tactile images paired with word clusters.

Each double-page spread highlights a certain type of vehicle, with raised images on the left-hand pages fitting into matching indentations on the right. For example, on the “Train” spread, readers see a curving set of train tracks recessed into the thick board pages on the right, paired with the raised image of a train on the left. The illustrations are simple, colorful, and appealing, and the textures and word clusters invite exploration. The word cluster for the aforementioned spread includes several nouns separated by small gray dots (locomotive, tracks, caboose, passenger car, curve, windows, and roof) as well as a couple of participles in italics (chugging, rolling). The indentations and raised images aren’t always an exact match, and this just adds to the fun of discovery. On the spaceship spread, the image of a large crescent moon is recessed into the right-hand page, while the left features a raised spaceship (which fits into the space carved out by the moon but doesn’t fill it entirely). Companion title Farm follows a similar format, highlighting adorable farm animals and providing related words to spark conversation.

The tactile elements, engaging visuals, and provocative word clusters offer a rewarding experience for adults and tots alike. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4516-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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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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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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