It’s that time of year again! Time to evaluate new board books for library purchase and use in baby storytimes. Watch for Part II in the March edition of BayNews, where we will discuss board books derived from picture books.
New Series Entries
Aarts, Esther. “Look, There’s a…” series. Nosy Crow, 12/2018. [10p.] $7.99 each.
Look, There’s a Rocket! 978-1-5362-0252-6.
Look, There’s a Submarine! 978-1-5362-0253-3.
Small die-cut holes in the sturdy board pages allow young children to see details in upcoming illustrations in this charming series. The rhyming text encourages children to look for specific things, like a red crab or robot, in the full color cartoon-like artwork. With repetition, this will appeal to very young children up to emergent readers.
British Museum. “Early Learning at the Museum” series. Nosy Crow, 01/2019. [22p.] $7.99 each.
Simple concepts are demonstrated using color photos of items from The British Museum in these elegant board books. For Colors, brown is shown in a painting of horse, fur boots, a basket, and a wooden guitar. For the number ten, an assortment of dolls from around the world are shown. At the end of each book is a key with very small photos of the items used, listing the artist if known, the date, and the country of origin. These actually help in teaching the concept, but also will help younger children experience art and items from a museum. Highly recommended.
Horacek, Peter. “Who Is…” lift-the-flap series. Candlewick, 02/2019. [16p.] $8.99 each.
Who Is the Biggest? 978-1-5362-0171-0.
Who Is Sleeping? 978-1-5362-0172-7.
Pairs of animals are shown together to demonstrate opposites in Who Is the Biggest? For example, “Heavy whale” is shown – lift the flap that looks like an ocean wave and see “Light Jellyfish.” In Who Is Sleeping? a different animal is partially hidden behind a flap that looks like part of the scenery, and the reader can guess the animal (answers are given). Deep colors are used in the Horacek’s signature paintings, and the animals are realistically depicted. A great choice for libraries.
Leung, Hilary. Will Ladybug Hug? Cartwheel/Scholastic, 10/2018. . $6.99. 978-1-33821-560-1.
Using a question and answer format, ladybug asks each friend if she can hug them, and most say yes; only sheep explicitly says “No,” but the text reinforces “that’s okay.” The narrative can help young children learn about setting boundaries, such as “side hugs are cool.” The full color art also helps by demonstrating a variety of hugs. Thin cardstock pages make this a little less sturdy than most board books, but it will be most successful when used with parent and child to open a discussion on appropriate touching. Part of Leung’s series that included Will Sheep Sleep? reviewed here: www.bayviews.org/new-fall-2018-board-books/.
Sussman, Joni Kibort. “Shalom Sesame” series. Illus. by Tom Leigh. Kar-Ben, 02/2019. [10p.] $5.99 each.
Grover Goes to Israel. 978-1-5415-2920-5.
A Seder for Grover. 978-1-5415-2921-2.
Familiar “Sesame Street” characters such as Big Bird and Avigail introduce Grover to Jewish culture and traditions. Using full color cartoon artwork and a sentence per page, there is not much detail; hopefully, a caregiver reading the story can explain what the Four Questions are, or what matzoh is. Libraries may want to purchase based on the needs of the community.
Turley, Gerry. “Lois and Bob” series. Nosy Crow, 12/2018. [12p.] $8.99 each.
Lois Looks for Bob at Home. 978-1-5362-0254-0.
Lois Looks for Bob at the Park. 978-1-5362-0255-7.
A small black cat searches for her friend Bob, who is a yellow canary, in this series that has flaps similar to Eric Hill’s “Spot” books. Behind each sturdy flap, which looks like a door, cabinet, etc., there is another animal friend with a human’s first name, like Peggy the dog. In many instances, the reader can see part of the animal that is hiding in the colorful cartoon illustration, making this a guessing game. The simple text has repetition which will allow emergent readers to practice their skills. Look for Lois Looks for Bob at the Beach and Lois Looks for Bob at the Museum, scheduled for June 2019 publication.
New Individual Titles
Burach, Ross. Hi-Five Animals! Scholastic, 08/2018. [20p.] $6.99. 978-1-338-24567-7.
The child is encouraged to touch each page with a “high five” to the drawing of the animal’s paw in this rhyming story. Kids can high-five a crocodile, lion, owl, moose, skunk, and many other animals. The interactive feature works well, and the bold, bright cartoon artwork is very dynamic. Sure to be popular as well as a great choice for baby or toddler storytimes.
Deneux, Xavier. 1 2 3 Touch Think Learn. Handprint/Chronicle, 10/2018. [40p.] $22.99. 978-1-4521-7390-0.
In this companion to Denaux’s ABC Touch Think Learn (2016), reviewed here: www.bayviews.org/fall-board-book-round-up-part-i-2/, die-cuts allow the reader to count dots for each number, and then turn the page and see an abstract graphic representation of animal. Although the board pages are sturdy, the binding is not and the price may prevent many libraries from choosing this. One plus is the fact both the numeral and word for each number is included, and the tactile element of the raised numerals will appeal to kinetic learners. An attractive concept book that might be most appropriate for home use.
Ellwand, David. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Candlewick, 12/2018. [14p.] $6.99. 978-1-5362-0220-5.
Color photos of teddy bears illustrate this variation on the classic bedtime lullaby. The bears are shown looking at the night sky or dressed as astronauts dancing on the moon. The rhyme begins and ends with the traditional lyrics, but in between new rhymes are added to make the song longer. A nice edition but not an essential purchase.
Kiffel-Alcheh, Jamie. A Hoopoe Says Oop! Animals of Israel. Illus. by Kuman, Ivana. Kar-Ben, 03/2019. [10p.] $5.99. 978-1-5415-0049-5.
Various animals found in Israel are shown in this charming rhyming story filled with onomatopoeia. Some are well known, such as bats, dogs, or cats, others like ibexes or the hyrax will be new to many readers. The animal noises will be fun for listeners to reenact, and the cartoonish artwork does a good job of showing the animals in a clear way.
Kiffel-Alcheh, Jamie. Listen! Israel’s All Around. Illus. by Steve Mack. Kar-Ben, 03/2019. [10p.] $5.99. 978-1-5415-0969-6.
The sounds of Israel are celebrated in this simple rhyming story: “Crisp falafel, munch, munch, munch. Stuff a pita, crunch, crunch, crunch.” The graphic style art is pleasing, showing people at the beach, on a kibbutz, dancing, and swimming. The sounds are ones found in many countries, not just Israel, giving this a universality.
Surplice, Holly. I Love You, Little One. Nosy Crow, 01/2019. [24p.] $8.99. 978-1-5362-0578-7.
With four lines of text per spread, this is longer than most board books, and will appeal to toddlers and preschoolers as much as babies. The rhyming text consists of a parent telling children how much they are loved; the illustrations depict a guinea pig family who live in a house and paint pictures and do other “human” activities. The watercolor artwork is charming but the rhyme sounds like a greeting card, and the message is not particularly unique. Serviceable but not overly original.
Penny Peck, San Jose State Univesity iSchool