New Series Board Books
Stewart, Whitney. “Mindful Tots.” Illus. by Rocio Alejandro. Barefoot Books, 04/2020. [14p.] $7.99 each.
Animal Antics. 978-1-78285-936-9.
Rest & Relax. 978-1-78285-935-2.
Perfect for Yoga Storytime, this series shows young children demonstrating poses and deep breathing. The text instructs the listener with directions such as “Let’s pretend to be elephants…Swing your trunk through the grass.” The full color digital artwork resembles block printing, showing ethnically diverse families doing the poses. This series began in 2019 with two titles, Loving Kindness and Tummy Ride; these two new additions really fill a need as Yoga storytimes are growing in popularity. Nichols, Lydia. “I Thought I Saw” series. Candlewick, 04/2020. [10p.] $8.99 each.
I Thought I Saw a Penguin! 978-1-5362-0997-6.
I Thought I Saw a Monkey! 978-1-5362-1015-6.
These two additions give this series eight entries, with two more being released in November 2020 (featuring Crocodile and Panda). Each spread has sliders that the reader moves to reveal the titular animal, so this doesn’t involve guessing. Each story is set at a location that young children will recognize, including a grocery store and the beach, and ethnically diverse people are depicted in each book. Overall, this is really too simple to be engaging.
Arrhenius, Ingela P. “Where’s the…” series. Candlewick, 03/2020. [10p.] $8.99 each.
Where’s the Pirate? 978-1-5362-1222-8.
Where’s the Kangaroo? 978-1-5362-0590-9.
There at 19 of these simple flap books, including these two new additions and the September 2020 release featuring a tiger (unseen by this reviewer). Each of the five spreads in every book features a question, such as “Where is the koala?” and a cloth felt flap that is lifted to reveal that animal. The final spread is always a mylar mirror under a flap so the reader can see themselves. Overall, this isn’t very original or special to warrant a library purchasing this series.
McEwen, Katharine. “Who’s Hiding?” series. Candlewick, 05/2020. [10p.] $9.99 each.
Who’s Hiding in the Rainforest? 978-1-5362-1010-1.
Who’s Hiding on the Savanna? 978-1-5362-1217-4.
This series features small flaps on each of the five spreads, which reveal illustrations and a few facts on different animals in the featured habitat. Filled with facts and relatively small print and detailed artwork, this series is for older preschoolers who are not the usual audience for board books. Each book in this useful informational series begins at morning and ends at nighttime. The small flaps should hold up to library use, making this a worthy acquisition.
Cousins, Lucy. “Maisy’s First Words” series. Candlewick, 04/2020. [20p.] $8.99 each.
Maisy Explores. 978-1-5362-1291-4.
Maisy’s Animals. 978-1-5362-1292-1.
Even with Cousins’ signature full color illustrations featuring the delightful white mouse, these contains just vocabulary words so the series is not particularly engaging. Still, many emergent readers will be able to decipher the words due to the format; the word serves as a caption for the illustration, making it easy for young children to guess each word. In Maisy Explores, she observes weather, planting, animal metamorphosis, body parts, colors, and more. In Maisy’s Animals, the creatures are grouped by habitat, including the Arctic, desert, ocean, jungle, farm, garden, and others. Buy where Maisy is popular.
Symes, Sally. “Finger Wiggle” books. Illus. by Nick Sharratt. Candlewick, 03/2020. [16p.] $8.99 each.
Little Baby’s Playtime.978-1-5362-1279-2.
Little Baby’s Busy Day. 978-1-5362-1278-5.
Two die-cut holes in each of these small board books are the distinguishing feature of this new series. Readers are encouraged to poke a finger in each hole to serve as the baby’s legs, to wiggle so it looks like the baby is walking or playing. The various babies represent different ethnic groups in the cartoon-like full color artwork. The rhyming text works well, and this series will appeal to babies and toddlers.
Huang, Yu-hsuan. “Sing Along with Me!” series. Candlewick, 03/2020. [8p.] $8.99 each.
Old MacDonald Had a Farm. 978-1-5362-1218-1.
A dog dressed as a farmer is the star of this book that contains the lyrics to the classic nursery song. With only four spreads, this farmer has a cow, pig, sheep, and horse. Each spread contains sliders but they don’t reveal much. Not a great choice for libraries.
Cousins, Lucy. “Little Fish.” Candlewick, 03/2020. [14p.] $8.99 each.
Shapes with Little Fish. 978-1-5362-1296-9.
One of the many books featuring Cousins’ Little Fish character; here he demonstrates some basic shapes. Each shape has a raised area for the reader to trace, making this a great choice for kinetic learners. The rhyming text reinforces facts about the shapes, making this both fun and educational for toddlers.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool