First Words Weather:  Sunny or Cloudy? by Lenka Chytilova, illustrated by Veronika Zacarova

First Words Weather:  Sunny or Cloudy? by Lenka Chytilova, illustrated by Veronika Zacarova. Albatros, 2021. 9788000061368

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Board book

What did you like about the book? Part of a series (First Words), this book is nicely sized for little hands and printed on sturdy board pages.  The illustrations are cute, with a friendly orange fox chasing its hat, shivering in the cold, enjoying puddles in the drizzle.  The weather concepts are easy to understand and go well with their pictures.

This board book also has pages that have windows cut through to show part of the next or previous illustration.  The gimmick works less well than in the other volumes in the series, as the sun becomes the sun and a cloud becomes another cloud.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  This volume is less successful than some of the others in the series, due to a lack of consistency in wording.  The text shifts (without a pattern) between adjective and noun:  warm – sunny – windy – clouds.  Then, cloudy is repeated on a subsequent page.  The book gives us cold – then rain (not rainy) and storm (not stormy).  It reads like a close but inexpert translation from another language. Had these all been adjectives or nouns, children hearing the words and looking at the book would also be gently learning something about how language works.

To whom would you recommend this book? Families with babies and toddlers learning to hold books and turn pages, kids ready to learn weather words..

Who should buy this book?  Daycares, preschools, public libraries

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: December 2, 2021

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