Zack and Zoe’s evident joy and ease in painting should inspire young Riveras and Kahlos alike to make some art of their own.

COLORS

From the Zoe and Zack series

The didactic duo Zoe the zebra and Zack the chameleon are back to teach artistically inclined toddlers the value of a varied palette.

This charming primer introduces preschoolers to six basic colors—blue, yellow, red, green, orange, and purple—as well as black and white, then demonstrates their utility in creating simple but pleasing representational images. Duquennoy has a gift for communicating simple, useful ideas to youngsters while cultivating a sense of excitement about visual expression. Here, he employs die-cut pages and inlaid acetate sheets to create surprise composite images that take shape when the page is turned and the pattern on the acetate combines with a pattern on the previous page. “Using the color blue, Zoe and Zack paint…”—here readers turn the page, so the acetate overlays the preceding page, and the blue blobs on each page combine to form—“…a seal on the ice.” With the color red, the two friends paint a fish, and with yellow, “the shining sun.” They also paint a green frog, an orange fox, a purple sea turtle, and a black wolf. On the final sheet of acetate, Zoe paints a multitude of white dots, which, readers learn upon turning the page, is snow in which the wolf can play.

Zack and Zoe’s evident joy and ease in painting should inspire young Riveras and Kahlos alike to make some art of their own. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-03630-426-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Ideal for any community where children count.

COUNTING ON COMMUNITY

A difficult concept is simply and strikingly illustrated for the very youngest members of any community, with a counting exercise to boot.

From the opening invitation, “Living in community, / it's a lot of FUN! / Lets count the ways. / Lets start with ONE,” Nagaro shows an urban community that is multicultural, supportive, and happy—exactly like the neighborhoods that many families choose to live and raise their children in. Text on every other page rhymes unobtrusively. Unlike the vocabulary found in A Is for Activist (2013), this book’s is entirely age-appropriate (though some parents might not agree that picketing is a way to show “that we care”). In A Is for Activist, a cat was hidden on each page; this time, finding the duck is the game. Counting is almost peripheral to the message. On the page with “Seven bikes and scooters and helmets to share,” identifying toys in an artistic heap is confusing. There is only one helmet for five toys, unless you count the second helmet worn by the girl riding a scooter—but then there are eight items, not seven. Seven helmets and seven toys would have been clearer. That quibble aside, Nagara's graphic design skills are evident, with deep colors, interesting angles, and strong lines, in a mix of digital collage and ink.

Ideal for any community where children count. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-632-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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