Tots may enjoy flipping the emojis, but most of the scenarios presented miss opportunities to foster emotional literacy.

MY BOOK OF FEELINGS

From the My World series

Youngsters are invited to explore their reactions to a variety of things through photo illustrations and spinning emojis affixed to the book.

A rectangular, die-cut hole appears down the outside of each page of the book to make space for a sturdy plastic pole with three, flat, circular wooden beads threaded through it. Each side of these beads bears a different cartoon facial expression, including happy, sad, angry, surprised, calm, and confused, and young readers can flip them to suit their moods. The project starts off with one wordy paragraph, but most of the text is composed of direct queries and positive affirmations. Between the die-cut rectangles, clear photos of people, animals, and situations appear on sparsely illustrated backgrounds. The children are babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary children of diverse racial presentations along with sundry adults, including a stereotype-defying Black woman dentist. One Asian toddler uses hearing aids, and one of the White children looks to have Down syndrome. Only one double-page spread asks children how they feel about various situations, such as going to school, the dentist, the doctor, and to a birthday party. The rest of the queries ask children how they feel about weather, foods, activities, and animals; they may not generate particularly rich emotional conversations. The project ends with a cluster of children making various expressions and a Mylar mirror embedded in the final page with an invitation to answer the question: “How do you feel today?”

Tots may enjoy flipping the emojis, but most of the scenarios presented miss opportunities to foster emotional literacy. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-655-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind.

BABIES AROUND THE WORLD

Ten babies in 10 countries greet friends in almost 10 languages.

Countries of origin are subtly identified. For example, on the first spread, NYC is emblazoned on a blond, white baby’s hat as well as a brown baby’s scoot-car taxi. On the next spread, “Mexico City” is written on a light brown toddler’s bike. A flag in each illustration provides another hint. However, the languages are not named, so on first reading, the fine but important differences between Spanish and Portuguese are easily missed. This is also a problem on pages showing transliterated Arabic from Cairo and Afrikaans from Cape Town. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese are transliterated, without use of traditional hànzì or kanji characters. British English is treated as a separate language, though it is, after all, still English. French (spoken by 67 million people) is included, but German, Russian, and Hindi (spoken by 101 million, 145 million, and 370 million respectively) are not. English translations are included in a slightly smaller font. This world survey comes full circle, ending in San Francisco with a beige baby sleeping in an equally beige parent’s arms. The message of diversity is reinforced by images of three babies—one light brown, one medium brown, one white—in windows on the final spread.

A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-938093-87-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed.

CIRCLE UNDER BERRY

Nine basic shapes in vivid shifting colors are stacked on pages in various permutations.

This visually striking and carefully assembled collection of shapes, which seems to have been inspired by an Eric Carle aesthetic, invites young children to put their observation, categorization, problem-solving, color, and spatial-relation skills to work, pondering shapes and compositions—and even learning about prepositions in the process. As the text says, “a stack of shapes can make you think and wonder what you see.” First, readers see a circle under a strawberry (the red diamond with a leafy, green top and yellow-triangle seeds) and then that berry over a green square. The orange oval made to look like a fish is added to a stack of three shapes to become “yellow over diamond under guppy over green.” And so on. The metamorphosis of many of these simple shapes into animals (a yellow circle becomes a lion; a green square, a frog; a pink heart, a pig; a yellow diamond, a chicken) will surprise and delight children. Questions are directed at readers: Is a square with two round eyes and semicircle feet a “frog or square or green?” Why, all of the above! The text possesses a pleasing rhythm and subtle rhymes, positively begging to be read aloud: “circle next to berry / square by bear by sweet // blue up high / pig down low / yellow in between.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-79720-508-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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