Tag Archives: concepts

Quality From The Start

Park
Lisa Jones and Edward Underwood
Nosy Crow
It’s never too soon to introduce babies to books: this ‘Tiny Little Story’ is a delight. We accompany Mum and Baby Boo on a walk in the park where they see a dog, a squirrel – squeeze the page and the leaves rustle – and a snail.

It rains, they feed the ducks and then the infant bids farewell to a bird and the park. That’s it; but with its squidgy fabric pages, simple, bright, attractive illustrations and brief text, it’s perfect for a first book. The whole thing comes in a presentation box and there’s a velcro strap to attach the book to a buggy.
With its soft pages, this would make a super present for a mum and new baby.

So Many Feet
Nichole Mara and Alexander Vidal
Abrams Appleseed
HIGH FEET, SLOW FEET; FAST FEET: SNOW FEET; DANCING FEET, HANGING FEET – these are just some of the many different kinds to be found in this largish board book that introduces toddlers to the diverse forms and functions of animal feet be they toed, clawed, webbed, sticky, hoofed, padded or other. Each animal’s feet are adapted for its life style whether it’s  mountain climbing, slow plodding, jumping, swimming, digging,

or perhaps, wall scaling.
Interesting, informative and alluringly illustrated, and with its final spread, which concludes with a parting question, ‘What can YOUR FEET do?’ an open invitation for youngsters to try some experimental movements with their own feet. In fact, nursery practitioners might make it the starting point for some playful group movement activities.

123
ABC

Nosy Crow
Nosy Crow has embarked on a new collaboration with The British Museum and these two board books are some of the first of a new joint non-fiction list.
Each one contains photographic images of objects found in the museum and thus give very young learners an opportunity to see and celebrate some of the wonderfully rich cultural collections while at the same time re-enforcing alphabetic and numerical concepts.
I randomly opened 123 at the first spread and was surprised to see a pair of what look like almost identical Indian shoes to a pair I have that I bought in Rajasthan, India a few years back, and where there are a fair number of makers/sellers of these jooties or mojaris as they are called. Those illustrated here are given in the index as ‘shoes: date unknown’ so I have no idea how old they might be, but it just shows how certain things remain almost unchanged over time.
In fact the whole book starting with 1 llama (a gold figure from Peru); and ending with 20 coins, is full of fascinating objects to look at and talk about.

There is a mix of photos of illustrations (paintings, etching, drawing) and 3D objects including drums, bowls, kites, beads, bags and spoons from the collection.
A similar mix of illustration and 3D items graces the pages of ABC. This spread shows a Japanese woodblock print of a snail, a porcelain teapot from the UK and an ivory figure from Sri Lanka.

Think of the rich vocabulary you might help your child develop by focussing on any of the objects shown: there’s certainly no talking down to toddlers here.
In addition to the index each book has, there is a QR code that if scanned on a smart phone supplies further information about the objects depicted. So, share these exciting little books and then if possible pay a visit to the British Museum and try to find the objects on display there.

I’ve signed the charter  

A Bounty of Board Books

DSCN7675

Clive and his Art/Clive and his Babies
Jessica Spanyol
Child’s Play
Preschooler Clive, as portrayed by Jessica Spanyol, is a total delight. In the first book he shares his love of being creative, something that takes many forms including printing, drawing, constructing and collage making. He also loves looking at other people’s art and sharing his own, especially with his cat, Moshi.

DSCN7609

Clive has a particular penchant for googly eyes (don’t most youngsters of his age) and loves to adorn his works with all things glittery and sparkly (ditto).
In the second book we meet Clive with his two ‘babies’. These certainly do get the full range of experiences: play …

DSCN7611

feeding, potty training, baths (with the help of friend Asif) rides, stories – very important, hugs and plenty of TLC.

DSCN7612

I love the slightly oblique, almost child-like views of Clive that Jessica often gives us. Her straightforward present tense narrative is such that beginning readers can also enjoy Clive and his world when they share these enchanting books with their younger siblings.

DSCN7419 (1)

Littleland Around the World
Marion Billet
Nosy Crow
The animal friends from Littleland pack their bags and set off to explore the world. First stop is London and they finish up in New York City – in Central Park to be precise. There are five other European destinations, then they head to Egypt and the pyramids followed by a safari in Kenya (that’s Africa taken care of). Next port of call is India and the Taj Mahal in Agra – a very hot place indeed so we are told, not always so in my experience though. From there it’s to China for a dragon festival , Tokyo at night …

DSCN7421 (1)

Australia to visit the outback and sunny Brazil for a spot of beach fun and games.
Running below every spread is a “Can you see …?‘ strip with nine labeled items (the national flag, animals, foods and more) for lap-tourists to spot. Yes there is the odd bit of mild stereotyping: ‘In Italy, people often eat pizza for their lunch.’ but the illustrations are cute, there’s so much to discuss, and toddlers will love to play I-Spy on this whistle-stop global tour.

DSCN7619

My First Book of Opposites
Alain Grée
Button Books
Ten spreads playfully illustrate basic opposites such as big/small, short/tall, up/down, fast/slow
Most of the concepts are either mathematical or scientific – hot/cold, day/night with the exception of one relating to feelings – happy/sad. We know that children acquire concepts through life experiences but books such as this board book can help in the reinforcement of same, and provide a talking point for adult and child together.

DSCN7416 (1)

Bizzy Bear DIY Day
Benji Davies
Nosy Crow
Bizzy Bear is having a DIY day. He’s busy measuring, sawing, drilling; but what are he and his pals making?

DSCN7418 (1)

TADAAH! Somewhere they can all have fun together …
Toddlers can enjoy the surprise ending and hone their fine motor skills as they push and slide the tabs to assist Bizzy as he wields his tools.
Bizzy Bear already has many fans among the very youngest; this one could win him even more.

DSCN7677

Animal Babies in the River/Animal Babies on the Mountain
Julia Groves
Child’s Play
Adult animals and their offspring from two different habitats – the river and mountains – are presented in life-like, collage style illustrations. The half dozen river animals portrayed are swan/cygnets, crocodile/hatchlings …

DSCN7606

otter and her pups, frog/tadpoles, salmon/fry and duck/ducklings.
The mountain dwellers include the alpaca/cria, lynx/kittens, eagle/eaglets and wolf/cubs.

DSCN7603

Julia Groves really does capture the essence of each species in her portrayals; her graphic style certainly doesn’t dumb down her illustrations: she clearly believes that the very youngest children deserve quality artwork and this is what she provides here.

Use your local bookshop  localbookshops_NameImage-2

WNDB_Button

 

The Big, Big Bing Book/Big Bear little chair

DSCN5525 (800x600)

The Big, Big Bing Book
Harper Collins Children’s Books
This outsize board book, which is adapted from Ted Dewan’s original Bing books, certainly is a splendid BING THING! Clearly it’s designed for group sharing and I envisage small children lying flat on the floor poring over and discussing the plethora of images they find herein.
It’s thematically organized with each of the half dozen double spreads being given over to a different topic. Thus we have ‘Hello Bing! that introduces Bing Bunny’s friends and relations, Bing’s house (and garden)

DSCN5635 (800x600)

that is simply crammed with everyday objects that are part of Bing’s domestic life.
From there, Bing’s world enlarges to encompass the immediate environment – the woods, his street, the park and playground, Amma’s crèche and more.
We also join in with the numerous Playtime activities that absorb Bing and his pals, each of which is illustrated vignette style,

DSCN5636 (800x600)

then there’s a Colours page with Bing’s own ‘Rainybow Song’ and another for Numbers.

DSCN5637 (800x600)

The final spread looks at two more concepts Opposites and Seasons.
Each double spread is packed with details that will assuredly get children talking, enthusing, laughing and learning in a playful, enjoyable way be it at home or at nursery.

Also full of opportunities for language development is:

DSCN5712 (800x600)

Big Bear little chair
Lizi Boyd
Chronicle Books
Take a comparatively simple size concept – big/small – and turn it into a beautiful, stylish three-story book encompassing the concept but with so much more is what Lizi Boyd does here beginning thus …

DSCN5713 (800x600)

And continuing with …

DSCN5714 (800x600)

and finally, after the butterfly has hatched –

DSCN5715 (800x600)

The second story introduces little bear and moves on to …

DSCN5716 (800x600)

and eventually …

DSCN5717 (800x600)

The bears then come together and another story unfolds and finally we meet the whole cast of story characters.

DSCN5718 (800x600)

Read differently, each page itself could be the starting point for a story that the reader goes on to create.
With its bold, patterned, slightly whimsical illustrations executed with a limited colour palette, no matter how it’s read, this offers an experience full of delight and potential.

Use your local bookshop      localbookshops_NameImage-2