This is a shame, as the mix of graphic simplicity and innovative tactile format would have made both of these delightful...

COLORS

From the TouchThinkLearn series

A bold, graphic and tactile introduction to colors.

On the thicker-than-normal board pages, part of the page is cut away to create a shaped indentation. Glued to the facing page is part or all of the positive space that was cut from the other side. On the first spread, a red, raised apple is fixed to the left-hand page. The right side features the inside of the apple, which is evoked by the apple-shaped indentation with two seeds floating in the center. This inventive format works its way through the other hues, one of the most clever being a blue submarine paired with a submarine-shaped, white whale indentation. The minimal text simply labels one color per page. The last double-page spread features a collection of balloons that mesh with an artist’s palette on the facing page as the text asks, “So many colors! Which one is your favorite?” Using strong shades and solid and white backgrounds, Deneux’s style is clean, clear and graphically appealing. The companion title, Opposites (978-1-4521-1725-6), uses the same format, but the technique of matching negative and positive space is even more apropos here. Prime examples are the “empty” and “full” fishbowl and the “heavy” elephant paired with a “light” elephant-shaped cloud. Compromising the usefulness of both titles is the legal warning on the back of both books that states that it is not for children under 3.

This is a shame, as the mix of graphic simplicity and innovative tactile format would have made both of these delightful additions to the board-book canon; as it is, they represent choke hazards to babies and toddlers, who would most benefit from them. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1726-3

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life.

PANTONE COLOR PUZZLES

6 COLOR-MATCHING PUZZLES

Another overdesigned board book, with puzzle pieces this time, from PANTONE, the company that creates the widely used color matching system.

Each double-page spread focuses on one color of the rainbow. The left-hand side is a full-page, graphically minded scene using a variety of hues of the color in question. On the facing pages, the PANTONE chips make their appearance, four shades occupying the four quadrants of the page separated by a bold white line in typical PANTONE fashion. Both sides of each page spread carry four shaped indentations to hold abstract puzzle shapes made of paperboard. Featuring machines that go on the left, the red spread has pieces that become the door and siren on a fire truck. These same pieces fit into slots labeled “Stop Sign Red / PANTONE 485” and “Brick Red / PANTONE 7627” on the right. While the cartoon tableaux are droll, the use of PANTONE numbers will make little sense to youngsters. The puzzle pieces themselves are relatively easy to get in and out once loosened, but, after a few readings, they will likely flake at the edges if they are not lost altogether. The small pieces force this message on the back cover: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.”

While the puzzle gimmick may hold youngsters' interest for a few readings, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0939-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers.

KALEIDOSCOPE

Gorgeous patterns peel away layers of color and depth within this kaleidoscope.

A die-cut circle frames the center of the device, and each turn of the page adds a different, textured nuance with scallops and points. Viewing the shapes and colors with the textured lens embedded in the cover causes them to emulate the effect of a real kaleidoscope. The text takes readers through the seasons, turn by turn, as leaves drop, rain falls, and snowflakes drift to the ground. The typography swirls and swoops, contributing to the feeling of movement both visually and linguistically. “Steeping, steaming, / lemon squeezing. / Tipping, pouring, / soothing, pleasing.” The words mimic the movements of the steam, floating up from the cup. Bold backgrounds extend from one side of the scene to the next. Mechanically, the manipulation of the embedded lens is a challenge, the wheel requiring more coordination than the toddler set can provide. Due to the small parts included, the warning label discourages children younger than 3 from independently poring over these pages.

Dazzling designs and the dexterity required gears these bright glimpses toward preschoolers rather than toddlers. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18641-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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