Birds (9781735000565) / Ocean Animals (9781735000558): Words of the World by Motomitsu Maehara. Blue Dot Kids, 2021
Format: Board Book
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 4
What did you like about the book? These are appealing, well-constructed, and beautiful board books. Each page features a bird or ocean animal surrounded by its name in seven different world languages. The text of the book is in English, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Esperanto. Each language has its own color, making it possible for young (and old) readers to recognize which is which. These could be nice for parents and littles to share together, chatting about the animals and colors on the page.
The collages look to be made of colored paper, newsprint, and sheets from books. Older board book readers may have fun trying to read the incidental words that show in the illustrations. (Many are in French, as Maehara lives in Paris.)
Anything you didn’t like about it? These are really a kind of short visual dictionary. Will multiple words for the same creature confuse young children who are still learning their primary language? Will older readers who are learning a new language want to pick up a board book?
To whom would you recommend this book? Public libraries with growing board book collections, preschool families, and anyone with a curiosity about learning pieces of a new language.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries, elementary schools.
Where would you shelve it? Board books.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA
Date of review: 6 May 2021