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Review of Among a Thousand Fireflies

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Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost; photos by Rick Lieder Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-7642-1    $15.99    g Frost and Lieder (Step Gently Out; Sweep Up the Sun) collaborate on a third picture book featuring a poem by Frost illustrated with Lieder’s luminous photographs, this time on the subject 
of fireflies. Frost’s short […]

MarcoPolo Ocean app review

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MarcoPolo Ocean (MarcoPolo, 2014) — in the same series as MarcoPolo Arctic — introduces young children to an ocean biome. A blue sea with gentle waves appears on the main screen as vaguely Caribbean-sounding background music plays. Before beginning, you can orient yourself by investigating underwater, looking at some fish, bobbing the buoy, etc. The […]

Review of Horrible Bear!

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Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman; 
illus. by Zachariah OHora Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-316-28283-3    $16.99 The action begins on the title-page spread, with a little red-haired girl standing on the bottom of the left-hand page. She’s flying a kite — and she’s frowning. The kite is high up in the sky, on […]

Kiko’s Thinking Time app review

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In today’s exciting installment of “Shoshana Is Bad at Spatial Reasoning”…Kiko’s Thinking Time (Kiko Labs, 2015)! This is an app with a lot of games that help hone a lot of skills. I’m sorry, did I say “a lot?” I meant “a zillion.” Approximately. Each day, the app provides a “Daily Quest.” Complete a series […]

Look closely

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The following books encourage young children to use their powers of observation and look closely at the pages before them — and at the world around them. Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title — I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) — Rachel Isadora’s book about the five senses is […]

Review of Twenty Yawns

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Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; 
illus. by Lauren Castillo Preschool    Two Lions    32 pp. 4/16    978-1-4778-2635-5    $17.99    g Lucy and her parents stay late at the beach, playing in the waves, walking the length of the shore, rolling down dunes, building a sandcastle. Everyone is happily worn out, and Mom decrees an early bedtime. So […]

Review of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / 
Olinguito, from A to Z!

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¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / 
Olinguito, from A to Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest by Lulu Delacre; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Children’s Book Press/Lee & Low    40 pp. 2/16    978-0-89239-327-5    $18.95    g In 2013, a team of scientists discovered a new species, the olinguito, in […]

Farm2Table app review

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Low-frills app Farm2Table (Little Pickle Press, January 2016) — based on the 2013 picture book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard, illustrated by Heather Devlin Knopf — gives young children a basic idea of where some of their food comes from. One morning young Patrick O’Shanahan goes downstairs for breakfast and finds a […]

Reviews of Bye-Bye Binky and I Use the Potty

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Bye-Bye Binky [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3536-6    9.99 I Use the Potty [Big Kid Power] by Maria van Lieshout; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    24 pp. 3/16    978-1-4521-3535-9    $9.99 In the Leslie Patricelli preschool-book mold (Potty, rev. 1/11, and many others), these […]

Math Tales: The Jungle app review

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Marshmallow Games‘s Math Tales: The Jungle app (March 2016) opens with upbeat, Caribbean-style music and happy jungle animals poking their heads out of greenery to greet the player. Once the pulsing, yellow “play” button is pressed, the player is brought to the first page of a story: “On a sunny day, the king of the […]