THE B ON YOUR THUMB | Kirkus Reviews

A fun (not frivolous) phonetic friend.

READ REVIEW

THE B ON YOUR THUMB

60 POEMS TO BOOST READING AND SPELLING

This selection of pithy phonetic poetry is both fun and educational.

Imported from the U.K., the book is divided into four sections: “Sounds,” “Silent letters and secrets,” “Words that sound the same,” and “Homophones.” A foreword assures caregivers (and independent readers) that the book can be read from cover to cover, but it’s OK to “just choose a rhyme that you think your child will enjoy.” With this knowledge (and a handful of other tips and tricks), readers will delight in the poems with their phonetic and spelling hints. Each poem is printed in two colors to allow the letters discussed to stand out and to aid visual connections: “The sh that’s in your shoulder, / the sh that’s in your shoe. / S and H go sh, / that is what they do.” The poems are witty, but a few rely on knowledge of British vocabulary or pronunciation to fully appreciate. These minor quibbles won’t detract from the merrymaking, however. The colorful cartoons feature anthropomorphic letters that elevate the humor and zaniness. The human characters depicted display a range of skin tones, hair textures, and ages, providing young readers a lot of opportunities to find themselves or a friend within the pages. It will work best as a lap book, but a skilled educator might be able to incorporate a poem or two into their storytelling repertoire, especially if they take advantage of the suggested extensions in the backmatter. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 100% of actual size.)

A fun (not frivolous) phonetic friend. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5460-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece,...

HUMAN BODY

From the Scratch and Learn series

A very simple guide to (some) human anatomy, with scratch-off patches.

On sturdy board pages two cartoon children—one brown, one a sunburned pink—pose for cutaway views of select anatomical features. In most images certain parts, such as lungs and bladder on the “Organs” spread and both gluteus maximi on “Muscles,” are hidden beneath a black layer that can be removed with the flat end (or more slowly with the pointed one) of a wooden stylus housed in an attached bubble pack. With notable lack of consistency, the names of select organs or areas, with such child-centric additions as “A cut,” or “Poop,” are gathered in bulleted lists and/or placed as labels for arbitrarily chosen items in the pictures. It’s hard to envision younger readers getting more than momentary satisfaction from this, as they industriously scrape away and are invited to learn terms such as “Alveoli” and “Latissimus dorsi” that are, at best, minimally defined or described. Older ones in search of at least marginally systematic versions of the skeletal, sensory, nervous, and other (but not reproductive) systems will be even less satisfied. Even those alive to the extracurricular possibilities of a volume that contains, as one of the two warnings on the rear cover notes, a “functional sharp point,” will be disappointed.

There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece, preschool setting. (Informational novelty. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-323-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more