Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Look! Birds! by Stephanie Calmenson, illustrated by Puy Pinillos

I got to see a lot of new board books from little bee publishers at BEA last year, and this is one that went on my list for the engaging illustrations.

The words are sets of verses on each page. Their quality varies - some have interesting imagery and some are more drab. For example, "When flamingos are young/they are gray or white./But when they grow up,/some turn pink - what a sight!" is pretty blah but "Hop, little sparrow./Getting clean is a must! One bathes in water - the other in dust." has a better ring to it, to my mind. The final spread has a lengthier paragraph of text talking about how birds are important to the environment and opens out to show a wide spread of different kinds of birds.

The real draw for me was the vivid illustrations of various birds, all performing different activities. The toucan grabs a fruit, with a nervous-looking worm peeking out while a frog watches from a nearby leaf. Tickbirds hop up and down a giraffe's neck, their beaks bull of bugs. A penguin splashes through the water in a white sea with accents of blue fish, a pink jellyfish, and a chunk of blue ice.

The illustrations are smaller and more detailed, which along with the longer text will make this more suitable for older toddlers or younger preschoolers. The book is a sturdy 6x6 inch square and the pages are thin cardboard.

Verdict: While this isn't necessarily a stand-out choice, if you're looking to freshen up your board book section with fun, new books with colorful illustrations this is a great addition. It's been popular in our library and I plan to purchase other titles in the series.

ISBN: 9781499801149; Published 2016 by little bee; Purchased for the library

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