Although the touch-and-feel element is not essential, this French import is a cheery way to teach very young children about...

SEASONS

From the My First Touch and Feel series

A large 8-inch square trim size is put to good use to introduce the four seasons to young children in this touch-and-feel outing.

A red-cheeked white (literally, though the tot tans in summer) child, outfitted in clothes suitable for seasonal activities, is surrounded by seasonal objects in four successive scenes. Each double-page spread begins with a brief description of expected weather for that time of year and includes representative, labeled items. (Readers might question the relevance of a ski helmet and mask to most toddlers, though skiing families will appreciate the reinforcement of safety.) The stylized art makes some of the objects difficult to identify. For example, white dots labeled “snowflakes” lack the lacy magic the term usually implies. The only tactile elements are the child's shirts, which change from a striped summer T-shirt to a fall flannel coat, blue snow suit, and yellow rain slicker and hat in turn and are fairly underwhelming. The final spread is devoted to “the seasons game,” which asks children to name the season associated with several now-familiar objects. Tactile elements are not repeated here, and some of the colors are not consistent with the rest of the book.

Although the touch-and-feel element is not essential, this French import is a cheery way to teach very young children about seasonal weather. (Board book. 6-18 mos.)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 979-1-02760-141-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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