Curious, observant young readers will love the impressive artwork, which is ultimately the standout in this board book.

DOT, STRIPE, SQUIGGLE

Nine different marine animals are featured in detail with emphasis on their dots, stripes, and squiggles.

What begins as a set of three simple, colored dots at the opening of the book grows to become the dots, stripes, and squiggles of different underwater creatures. After the colored dots (one in each primary color), readers see close-up snippets of each animal—a head, a tail, fins, tentacles, claws—before each is revealed in its entirety. Nerlove’s vibrant watercolor illustrations are presented on a stark white background on each double-page spread, allowing readers to really take in each tiny sucker on the blue-ringed octopus and every spine on the zebra lionfish. The opening color palette of the three dots in red, blue, and yellow is echoed in each of the subsequent illustrations, subtly hidden in the yellow striping on the eel and the blue dots on the jewel damselfish. The rhythmic movement of Tuttle’s repetitive “dot, stripe, squiggle” in various iterations invites readers to point and observe, although they may do little else. The real stars here are the lifelike illustrations, and the words certainly get out of the way. A really clear, simple illustrated key to the animals pictured closes out the book, presenting names as bold and unusual as the animals themselves.

Curious, observant young readers will love the impressive artwork, which is ultimately the standout in this board book. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56846-325-4

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors.

BABY'S FIRST BOOK OF BIRDS & COLORS

Gorgeous birds amid foliage of similar hues introduce eight basic colors.

The two birds presented on each spread not only are of similar coloration, but also live in the same North American habitat. A scarlet tanager and a cardinal, both male, perch in a red maple tree; a male Eastern bluebird and a blue jay appear with morning glories and blueberries. The name of each color is printed in large font, while the name of each bird is in a much smaller one. Whether the bird shown is male or female, or if the male and female have similar coloring, is also indicated. The names of the trees they perch upon are identified in a note on the back cover. These details will be lost on most toddlers, but caregivers will appreciate being able to answer questions knowledgeably. Colors featured are from the standard box of crayons, except that pink is substituted for purple. Black and white share a spread. The cover image, of a cardinal, goldfinch, and bluebird in a birdbath, is not nearly as inviting as the images within. The final spread shows children (one white, one black, one Asian) assembling a puzzle that includes the same birds. This may serve as a reprise but will probably be skipped over. Bird-loving readers will probably feel that the space could have been put to better use by giving white birds their own page or adding a purple martin.

Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-742-6

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A fun, new take on droppings.

WHERE DO YOU POOP?

Youngsters can learn about where and how various animals, domestic and wild, relieve themselves.

Via a pull-tab embedded in each recto (not, thankfully, in the rectum) readers can see the before and after, and a goldfish in a bowl leaves a trail while swimming. The verso asks each creature where it does its business, and then a (sometimes-forced) rhyming quatrain, translated from Italian, answers the question: “And where do YOU poop, mouse? / When inside my tummy / Starts to feel not so good / It’s time for a poop / On these chips made of wood!” The final double-page spread queries readers: “And where do YOU poop?” A redheaded, White toddler’s face is visible below this question; the pull-tab on the right opens a bathroom to reveal a White toddler, this time with medium brown hair, happily and modestly sitting on a blue toddler potty. The accompanying quatrain provides some developmentally appropriate guidance for feeling the signs of a movement coming on. Baruzzi’s art is droll and graphically clean (inasmuch as the depiction of excrement can be described that way). Little fingers may need some help finding the relatively easy-to-open and sturdy pull-tabs, since they blend into each page. It works as both a biology lesson and potty-training encouragement.  

A fun, new take on droppings. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66265-042-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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