Trucks At First Sight (Martha Jaworowski)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Trucks At First Sight by Martha Jaworowski, a fun counting and seek-and-find book for young vehicle enthusiasts.

The day the unnamed narrator saw trucks for the first time, it was love at first sight! Taking readers on a visual trip through different types of large vehicles – such as logging trucks, forklifts, excavators, fire engines, and so on – in colorful and visually stimulating illustrations, the audience can find their own “truck at first sight.”

Clever theming with unique artwork. While the “story” and title concept are a little weak, Jaworowski makes up for this with incredibly well-designed visuals and text snippets starring each featured vehicle. The counting elements are well-integrated into the fun-to-read text, and the silhouetted artwork is complex and engaging without being overwhelming (though readers should be aware, due to the color scheme of most of the pages, in which the “findable” vehicles are a simply a darker shade of the same color used for the surrounding objects, this one will be a challenge for those with color-blindness). The length is perfect for a quick storytime, and JJ really enjoyed tackling the text and spotting the trucks. Overall, a great title for young gearheads, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Have You Seen Gordon? (Adam Jay Epstein & Ruth Chan)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Have You Seen Gordon? by Adam Jay Epstein and Ruth Chan, a hilariously clever twist on seek-and-find books.

Have you seen Gordon? You’d think a bright purple tapir wouldn’t be tough to find, but in a crowd of creatures of all shapes, sizes, and species, it can be tricky. Unless, of course, Gordon decides that he doesn’t want to hide – in fact, he wants to stand out. This fourth wall-breaking declaration throws the book’s narrator for a loop, and they are left fumbling with how to continue a seek-and-find book with a irrepressibly fabulous and flamboyant main character.

A perfect mix of humor and heart. Epstein’s witty take on seek-and-finds – particularly the dialogue between the narrator and the characters – is immediately enjoyable for readers of all ages. What’s truly impressive is how it also explores the idea of agency and individualism: by the end of the book, both the narrator and reader have been shown that the characters in the crowd scenes should be treated with respect as individuals with their own personalities, preferences, and life stories. It’s a surprising turn that frames the entire book in a different light, and had us eager to go back and explore every inch of the intricately illustrated spreads to see all the details we had missed (which Chan even uses to introduce some lovely moments of comedy and inclusivity). The length is perfect for a storytime, but these charming crowd scenes make the book endlessly explorable as readers begin to imagine each background character’s story. JJ and I absolutely loved it; she was giggling up a storm by the midpoint. A perfectly constructed story that entertains as it enlightens, and we were blown away. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Busy Bots (Priddy Books)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Busy Bots by Priddy Books, a sweet seek-and-find board book for young engineers.

Meet the Busy Bots! These eighteen animal-inspired creatures – with names like Dogbot, Octobot, Spiderbot, etc. – are ingeniously constructed of (photographs of) household supplies, and are introduced in turn to the reader with simple yet cheerful rhyming text. Each page – and each creature – also features a simple seek-and-find of its components; Flingobot, for example, invites young readers to spot the hammer, toy spring, and desk lamp that make up its workings.

Delightful. The unique yet recognizable bots of this title are charming enough to draw in young readers, where they can build skills like shape-matching, letter recognition, and simple sentences. The bright and dynamic photo manipulations are set against eye-catching block color backgrounds, and makes for a visual style that is engaging without being overwhelming for little eyes. The length is perfect, and JJ greatly enjoyed repeat examinations of the artwork and letters. This is a great title for any young reader interested in robots, engineering, and/or animals, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Let’s Get Sleepy! (Tony Cliff)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Let’s Get Sleepy! by Tony Cliff, a delightfully wild seek-and-find.

Waking up early and bouncing out of bed with excitement, orange kitten Richard is ready to start his day. One of a large litter of siblings, Richard begins the morning by wondering where Sleepy, the wee prince of the night (embodied by a regally-outfitted mouse), has gone off too. Gathering his pack of feline family and friends, Richard spills out the door with the cry: “LET’S GET SLEEPY!”. Exploring their busy town through parades, mountaintops, underground caves, the beach, and even the surface of the moon, the gaggle of kitties searches high and low for Sleepy… to no avail. Trudging home, Richard recounts his busy day to his mother as she readies her kids for bed. Tucking the kitty in, Mom assures Richard that after a full day like his, he needn’t search too hard for Sleepy – she has a feeling that Sleepy will find him soon enough.

Adorable, interactive fun. While the light and bouncy rhyming text and highly enjoyable refrain of this title make for a delightful read-aloud, its magic is in its incredibly charming and detailed illustrations. Richard and his gang of kittens are each unique and winsome, and a helpful guide on the back cover helps readers distinguish them by name and appearance. But it’s the jaw-dropping crowd scenes that are the star of the show, each creating a Where’s Waldo-like seek-and-find where both the reader and the kittens can search for the elusive Sleepy (with plenty of visual treats and gags to entertain as they do). This makes the length as much or little as your little bookworm wants; JJ sat comfortably for the read-through, and was eager to return to each art spread for closer examination. This one is sure to delight, and we recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

My Easter Basket: A Colorful Egg Hunt (Roger Priddy)

Hello, friends! Our book today is My Easter Basket: A Colorful Egg Hunt by Roger Priddy, a sweet interactive board book with lots of color and counting fun.

The egg hunt has begun on the farm! Can you help all the adorable animals find their eggs in time for the big picnic? Each spread features a barnyard scene with a group of animals finding five of a specific color egg (with the reader’s help, of course).

This is your fairly basic holiday board book fare, but with enough visual interest and interactive touches that make it stand out. The book itself is die-cut in the shape of a basketful of eggs, complete with handle for easy carrying. The foil details are a nice touch to help little bookworms spot the seek-and-find eggs in the scenes, which are hidden just well enough (but not TOO well) for a fun searching experience. The book itself is sturdy, though after a little “toddler testing”, I did notice the handle part starting to crease a bit. But overall, this is a fun board book to share with the youngest bookworms, perhaps as an Easter gift. JJ loved it, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)