NEW YORK BABY

These babies are too posh for their own good.

In this smug review of daily life in the Big Apple, including its tourist attractions, the developmental mark is missed entirely. A little girl holds her mother's hand as they stroll through the art museum: “We say MoMA when we really mean Mama.” Less obscurely, a four-panel spread depicts a babe in stroller through changing seasons; the snow piles high and a scarf covers the child's face during the blustery winter. The food-cart experience is represented by a bagel, pizza and pretzel, glossed with a gush: “And we have fun learning our shapes!” In a nod to the city's diversity, youngsters greet each other in a host of languages. Busy pops of bold colors emphasize the hustle and bustle. A darkened cityscape seems to promise rest, but one cry ("Waaaa!") lights up the sky. “New York is the city that never sleeps, but New York babies do…sometimes.” Two concluding pages of suggested parent-child activities overwhelm in their attempt to educate.

Pretentious. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9838121-4-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Without a consistent child's voice, this runway romp fizzles.

BIRDIE PLAYS DRESS-UP

From the Birdie series

A young fashionista's play proves less inspired than her posh designs.

Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery for this daughter, as Birdie plays dress-up in her mother's stylish attire. She twirls in princess dresses, adopts a movie-star identity in sunglasses and teeters in stilettos. Her little white pooch, Monster, serves as a stylish sidekick, even posing as a hat-stand for one of her mama's beautiful, two-toned accessories. Birdie's fashion-conscious mother, never viewed face-on, showcases her sense of daring design with mile-high shoes and slim, crossed legs. Though the book seems initially to be a light trip into dressing-up, Birdie's childlike exuberance veers abruptly into contrived self-awareness. “But there's nothing better than just being me!” The stylish design features splashes of paint and tissue-paper ribbons; a cutout Birdie pops in her exaggerated high heels on the fashion-forward cover. Textured accents and varied patterns highlight the finest form of fashion.

Without a consistent child's voice, this runway romp fizzles. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-20111-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Little ones may be drawn to the sparkly foil of the faux screen cover, but the programming inside is industry standard.

MY BUSY COMPUTER BOOK

From the Skills for Starting School series

This laptop-shaped offering (it opens from top to bottom after the release of a Velcro closure) introduces tots to colors, numbers, shapes, and opposites.

Bip, Bop, and Boo, a stuffed cat, elephant, and monkey respectively, appear in each section to suggest an activity (“Bip asks, ‘What shapes do you see?’ ”) via speech bubble. All but one of the four double-page spreads have flaps for readers to lift, but unfortunately they are too flimsy to withstand robust interaction. There is also a spin dial on two pages as well as sliding panels on another; all are relatively easy to manipulate. While the concepts are presented clearly enough (the book is part of the Skills for Starting School series), some of the images are a little too small for counting or easy identification. Bip, Bop, and Boo are fairly endearing characters, but the illustrations are a haphazard mishmash of what looks to be clip art and stock photography. The handle at the top is a toddler-friendly touch.

Little ones may be drawn to the sparkly foil of the faux screen cover, but the programming inside is industry standard. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4654-5129-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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