Despite some proportion issues, this is a playful introduction to measurement for older preschoolers and up.

HOW MANY BEADS?

In this “Montessori-inspired” offering, youngsters can “measure, count, and compare” with a string of square beads attached to the book.

Ten colorful, cube-shaped beads are strung together on a thick, blue string (knotted at the end to keep them from falling off) embedded in the back page of the book. A perfectly fitted indentation lets the blocks and string nestle somewhat securely in the back of the book, but the beads are easily displaced, making their use in settings such as libraries problematic. Readers can pull the beads along the cord to measure different items depicted. Each double-page spread presents a different setting (“At home,” “In the sea,” etc.), and gentle prompts in a bold font encourage measuring and comparing: “Which of these is the tallest household object?” In the “Around town” section children can measure pictures of people, a car, a bike, a traffic cone, and a construction crane. The images are not purely proportional, as the 16-story building looks to be only twice as tall as the two-story house. Young children may need help manipulating the beads and making some of the comparisons in the queries, so adult assistance is essential. Surprisingly, readers are not encouraged to measure items in the real world with their beads or any other measuring tool.

Despite some proportion issues, this is a playful introduction to measurement for older preschoolers and up. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-682-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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So rocket science can be fun.

BABY LOVES SCIENTISTS

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING!

From the Baby Loves… series

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If they haven’t already thought about their futures (and they probably haven’t), toddlers and preschoolers might start planning after perusing this cheerful first guide to scientific careers. Plump-cheeked, wide-eyed tykes with various skin and hair colors introduce different professions, including zoologist, meteorologist, aerospace engineer, and environmental scientist, depicted with cues to tip readers off to what the jobs entail. The simple text presents the sometimes-long, tongue-twisting career names while helpfully defining them in comprehensible terms. For example, an environmental scientist “helps take care of our world,” and a zoologist is defined as someone who “studies how animals behave.” Scientists in general are identified as those who “study, learn, and solve problems.” Such basic language not only benefits youngsters, but also offers adults sharing the book easy vocabulary with which to expand on conversations with kids about the professions. The title’s ebullient appearance is helped along by the typography: The jobs’ names are set in all caps, printed in color and in a larger font than the surrounding text, and emphasized with exclamation points. Additionally, the buoyant watercolors feature clues to what scientists in these fields work with, such as celestial bodies for astronomers. The youngest listeners won’t necessarily get all of this, but the book works as a rudimentary introduction to STEM topics and a shoutout to scientific endeavors.

So rocket science can be fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62354-149-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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