Book Review: Baby Shower Books | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Book Review: Baby Shower Books 

Published May 2, 2014 at 11:35 a.m.

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The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book
By Brittany Teckentrup

The hip graphic image of repeating turtles on its cover drew my eye to this book. When I cracked it open, I discovered it was a cross between the ever-popular I Spy series of books for older kids and the beloved Sesame Street segment of my youth, “One of these things (is not like the others).”

On each spread, there’s a different image of repeating animals — flamingos, pandas, rhinos, bats and more. The reader's job is to spot the one that’s slightly different from the rest. On one spread, the text reads, “A troop of young lemurs/ enjoying the day,/ hear a sudden strange sound/ and are startled from play./ Stopping and staring,/ they strike the same pose./ But which silly lemur/ looks at its own nose?” Small sleuths have to pick out the one cross-eyed creature from the ring-tailed bunch. It takes a little bit of looking to find the odd animal out on each spread but it’s not too tricky, which makes this a perfect book for the preschool set.

click to enlarge misterseahorse.jpg
Mister Seahorse
By Eric Carle

Carle is best known for his beloved tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but the author and illustrator has penned more than 40 other books filled with engaging stories and his signature eye-catching paper collages. Mister Seahorse is a particularly fitting selection for a baby shower because it shows the interesting ways sea creatures give birth to their young. Mr. Tilapia carries eggs in his mouth, Mr. Stickleback builds a nest and the title character carries Mrs. Seahorse's eggs in a pouch in his belly.

Clear acrylic overlays interspersed among the pages, printed with plants that camouflage the creatures underneath, make this book a fun, interactive read for little ones. At the end of the story, when the baby seahorses are born and one tries to return to its father's pouch, Mister Seahorse says, “I do love you, but now you are ready to be on your own.” It’s a bittersweet message that will resonate with parents who can't shake the feeling that their kids are growing up too fast.

click to enlarge day-the-crayons-quit-cover.jpg
The Day the Crayons Quit
By Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

This best seller is built on a wacky and clever premise — what if all the crayons in the box quit in protest and wrote letters outlining their complaints? In this story, red crayon vents to its owner, Duncan, that it needs a rest after being worn down from coloring fire engines, strawberries, hearts and Santas. Pink, meanwhile, is upset for being labeled a girl color and not being used enough. Orange and yellow squabble over which one is really the color of the sun.

At the end of the story, Duncan gets an idea that will make all the crayons happy. He creates a picture using all of them, a whimsical illustration depicting a hippo in a blue bus, an orange whale, a princess flying a pink plane and more. This playful book is one kids will ask for again and again — and it's clever enough to please the adults, too.  

Kids VT wants to know: What’s your go-to gift book for new babies?

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


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