New Original Board Books
Anon. Hoppy Floppy’s Carrot Hunt. Candlewick, 03/2020. [12p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-1231-0.
Based on a preschool board game, this large egg-shaped board book contains multiple flaps on each spread and a wheel on the final page. A rabbit is looking for various colored carrots. Storytime listeners will appreciate the interactive nature of the story, and they can guess when the correct carrot is revealed. Sturdy flaps make this appropriate for libraries.
Becker, Aaron. My Favorite Color. Candlewick Studio, 09/2020. [16p.] $15.99. 978-1-5362-1474-1.
The narrator describes their favorite color(s), beginning with yellow and then changing their mind to blue, purple, and so forth. Although the book design is pleasing, with many colored squares on each page and die-cut holes, this is not as innovative as Becker’s You Are Light (2019). There are other better books about colors for toddlers.
Hegarty, Patricia. Touch-and-Feel Tower Dinos. Illus. by Carlo Beranek. Tiger Tales, 03/2020. [14p.] $10.99. 978-1-68010-609-1.
Square die-cut holes don’t add much to this look at various dinosaurs, including ankylosaurus, stegosaurus, triceratops, and diplodocus. The rhyming text is lively but brief; fortunately, the book includes a line of how to pronounce each dino’s name. The tactile inserts represent reptilian skin but don’t add much excitement. There are better toddler dinosaur books.
Hernandez, Mili. Federico and All His Families. NubeOcho, 06/2020. [16p.] $9.95. 978-84-17673-56-7.
Originally published in Spain, this translated story celebrates diversity. Federico is a blue house cat that lives with several different families, including one with two moms, two dads, a boy that lives with his grandparents, a mom and dad with children of different races, and a single mom and her son. The full color cartoonish artwork conveys a lot of the diversity but the text comments on some of the families as well. Ideal for Bay Area families, this is a must-have.
Jam Media. Becca’s Bunch: B Is for Becca. Candlewick, 03/2020. [26p.] $7.99. 978-0-7636-9086-1.
Based on a popular animated TV series from Nick Jr., this alphabet book features characters from that show. Each page shows both upper and lower case examples of the letter, along with an item representing the letter: Acorns, Book, Car, Drum, etc. The photo of each item is stylized in a graphic way that is appropriate for the toddler audience. The letters are bordered by stitching, making it look like a quilt. Serviceable but not the best alphabet book.
Kraegel, Kenneth. This Is a Book of Shapes. Candlewick, 09/2020. [30p.] $8.99. 978-1-5362-0701-9.
In this silly book, there are spreads with a large shape and a sentence, such as “This is a circle.” Every few pages, it varies to show an animal playing: “This is a rhinoceros wearing a jet pack…” which has nothing to do with shapes. Older children (emergent readers) will understand the joke but toddlers are likely to be confused.
Newsom, Karl. Little Owl’s Bedtime. Nosy Crow, 09/2020. [24p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-1446-8.
Owl flies around the world, saying good-night to the stars in this rhyming story. It may take some explanation as to why the owl is blowing out the star (like a birthday candle) and why animals that don’t normally live together are shown in the same habitat, like a tiger and penguin. The full color illustrations work well with the text, but this seems overly sentimental.
Takeuchi, Chihiro. Paper Peek: Animals. Candlewick Studio, 09/2020. [34p.] $14.99. 978-1-5362-1149-8.
In this clever search-and-find book, children will seek out the various animals shown by continent. For example, alongside a large die-cut of a brown bear, there are moose, beavers, raccoons, and other North American animals; the facing page has a wallpaper-like image with several of these animals. Fun for kids learning how to read, who can learn the words for the animals but not be overwhelmed.
Van Hout, Mies. This Is My Daddy! Pajama Press, 06/2020. [36p.] $17.95. 978-1-77278-112-0.
The repeated title begins each two-page sequence, showing a young animal like a tadpole along with four choices for the father; turn the page for the answer. Many are easy with child and father looking alike, but a few are challenging, including the caterpillar and butterfly. The full color graphic artwork is very well done, and the surprise ending adds interest as well and makes this memorable.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool