Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Animals on the Go and Space by Ruth A. Musgrave

National Geographic offers a new board book series, Little Kids First Board Books, with photographs, simple text, and some basic facts.

In Animals on the go, a variety of animals are shown in movement. An ostrich, snake, ladybug, orangutan, and penguin are some of the animals included. Each spread has a simple sentence describing the animals' movement, "Penguins slide across the snow on their bellies". Some pages include a yellow circle with additional facts, "Dolphins use their tails to swim and jump." Other pages may include this and an activity, like the dolphin page "Touch each dolphin's tail" or "Flap your arms up and down to swim like a sea turtle." The photographs are clear and bright, some covering a whole spread with text superimposed over the photo, others include the text on a colored background facing the page-size photo.

I've looked at several astronomy and science-based board books and all were way too complex for a baby or toddler. Or a preschooler, for that matter. Space, however, does a great job of explaining simple concepts to young children. Photographs of planets, landscapes, and space take readers from a simple explanation of earth's place in the cosmos, "Earth is a planet in space./Planets are round, like balls." to a photo of the Milky Way and pictures of space craft. Additional facts, "The Milky Way is a spiral shape." and a few cute exclamations, "Let's race! Bet I can run rings around you." says Saturn, are spread throughout the pages. The final spread shows a variety of planets and encourages children to trace shapes, sing to the stars, and find Earth.

Verdict: This new series has a nice combination of simple text and photographs, filling a gap for collections needing more nonfiction offerings for the youngest of readers.

Animals on the go
ISBN: 9781426333125

ISBN: 9781426333149

Published April 2019 by National Geographic; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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