There is so much interesting information in these books readers may find the problems easy to live with. Have fun with your...

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S FRUIT ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 2

“A is for Avocado. Bet you thought I’d say apple! Both are fruit because they grow on trees.”

So starts this unusual alphabet book, which includes a wonderful collection of fruit from all around the world—common ones such as orange, raspberry, and lemon as well as fruit with which readers might be less familiar, such as dragon fruit, yumberry and “XIGUA, which is pronounced ‘she gwah’ and is a Chinese and African name for watermelon.” Each letter of the alphabet gets one page, with the letter and the name of the fruit in uppercase, an illustration of the fruit in vivid colors, and some tasty facts and/or commentary about it. Each sentence is written in an unnecessary mixture of typefaces, which may make it difficult for children to distinguish individual letters. “Q IS FOR QUINCE WHICH is too hard and sour to eat RAW. BUT if you cook IT, IT turns PINK and MAKES a good sauce, jelly OR JAM.” Bold colors, textures, and smiling faces make the fruit look spirited and playful but not particularly tempting, and they may not represent the actual fruit particularly well. Companion book Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet is very similar in look and feel, with such unusual vegetables as dandelion, fiddleheads, and watercress.

There is so much interesting information in these books readers may find the problems easy to live with. Have fun with your fruits—and vegetables! (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62336-872-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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