Oh David!: A Pocket Library: David Shannon
Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup: Mid-October Edition

Star Bright Photoflaps Books: Cheryl Christian

Books: Where Does It Go?, Where's the Baby?, and How Many?
Author: Cheryl Christian (with photos in Where's the Baby by Laura Dwight)
Pages: 12 per book
Age Range: 0 to 3

Star Bright Books sent me three board books from their Photoflaps series (Where Does It Go?, Where's the Baby?, and How Many? ). These books have been around for a while, but I just discovered them. In my mind, these are perfect for toddlers. They have photos of children, ordinary objects, and animals. And they have easy to lift flaps on every page-spread.

B0157Where Does It Go? shows a baby and an object (diaper, shoe, etc.) on each page, and asks repeatedly "Where does it go?" The photo below the flap shows the answer (e.g. baby wearing diaper). The babies are all rather white-skinned in this one (which is not typical of Star Bright's books), but I like that one of the babies shown appears to be developmentally disabled. I like the quiet inclusion of this, without comment.

B0146Where's the Baby? shows an item (toy, etc) and a location (high chair, playpen, etc.) on each page spread. Each pair is introduced ("Here's the baby's apple. Here's the high chair.") and then we have the common refrain, familiar to parents everywhere: "Where's the baby?" Below the flap, of course, we see the baby in the high chair holding the apple, and so on. This one is a bit more multi-ethnic than Where Does It Go, and certainly features universal themes.

B0126How Many? is the most of fun, and the most educational, of the three, featuring both animals and counting. On each page we have some number of animals, plus, on the facing page, one more of the same animal. The text asks the child how many there are total. Then below the flap we see the animals together, and the number (e.g. "3 Three puppies!") The animals are all charming and kid-friendly (rabbits, ducks, kittens). Baby Bookworm turned again and again to the page with four bunnies, plus one more bunny. She especially seemed to like that some of the rabbits were white and some dark-colored.

There's not a lot of text to these books. You're not going to read them aloud to lull your child to sleep. But they are nice for interactive, educational play for toddlers. They have photos. They have babies, toys, and animals. And they have flaps. What more could anyone ask? Well, ok, I could maybe ask for the pages to be a bit thicker. The flaps are not as sturdy as, say, those in the DK Peekaboo series, and I foresee the need for scotch tape. But that's in part because I see this series getting a lot of use around our house. The Photoflaps books would make a great first or second birthday gift. Recommended.

Note: versions of these books are also available in other languages (Chinese, Russian, Haitian Creole, etc.)

Publisher: Star Bright Books
Publication Date: 2001
Source of Book: Review copies from the publisher

© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.