Button! Snap! Zip! by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Thomas Elliot. Tiger Tales, 2022. 9781664350120
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 4
Format: Board book
What did you like about the book? Those of us of a certain age will remember the dolls Dressy Bessy and Dapper Dan. They wore clothes you could zip, tie, velcro, and button. This board book similarly provides an opportunity for little hands to practice these daily life skills.
The book has a sturdy binding and thick pages, and looks like it will hold up to frequent use. It has shoelaces, a zipper, a button, and snap on the inside cover. The whole book seals shut with a velcro flap. Each page features a different one of these closure types, along with text that describes where you might see it used and tips for manipulating it. There are images of children of many sizes and hues on each page, shown wearing items that close with the featured fastener. The first set of instructions is for velcro, which is a nice choice because it is, arguably, the easiest to master. The book has a clear and important message, about hard tasks becoming easier with practice. Especially nice is the way the front cover has cut-out that allow the reader to tie, zip, button, snap and velcro without opening the book.
Anything you didn’t like about it? In order to use the book easily, the reader needs enough space to unfold all three panels. It’s a bit awkward to manage, which is a poor choice for a book for children to practice fine motor skills. The way the book is set up, a small child will not be able to look at the instructions and the fastener they’re trying to learn to use at the same time. (It’s just too wide a spread for small people.) This won’t be an issue once the child understands the basic concept.
The photographs also seem from a previous era; maybe late 1980s, early 90s. (It’s unlikely that the children ready to learn to tie their shoes will care.)
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great choice for children learning to manipulate objects and dress themselves.
Who should buy this book? Daycares and preschools. It would make a nice toddler birthday gift, too.
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: July 8, 2022