fly! by Xavier Deneux, part of the TouchThinkLearn series of board books from Chronicle Books is exactly the kind of book I would have bought my three children when they were toddlers if something this innovative, engaging and beautiful existed back then. With TouchThinkLearn, Chronicle joins abrams appleseed, a line of board books launched in 2012 dedicated to creating books that will "foster development of its young readers and engage them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books." For my reviews of the many fantastic abrams appleseed board books from the last five years, click here. Both these series are more than "artful, beautifully conceived" board books, they are educational. As I learned when reviewing Montessori Letter & Number Work and Montessori Shape Work, multi-sensory learning is an important part of their educational philosophy. This is integral to the TouchThinkLearn series and Deneux incorporates this into the story, illustrations and design of his book wonderfully.
Like Give & Take by Lucie Félix, which I reviewed last year, fly! is a die-cut board book with pieces that can be removed. Rather than a concept book that teaches the alphabet, counting or shapes like the rest in the ThinkTouchLearn series, fly! is a narrative. A simple story with the cycle of life at its heart, fly! begins with Bird arriving "at the foot of the tree. It was the end of a very long journey." A die cut (all die cuts has color/images on both sides and often fit into more than one place in the book) allows readers to move Bird from one side of the page to the other, placing her under the tree. The days pass, the tree grows leaves and then apple and red bird arrives. Together, the birds build a nest and soon there are two eggs. The final page gives the reader the opportunity to have one of the hatchlings fly from the nest.
It's a very good time to be a baby and a parent when it comes to board books. Visually and conceptually, there is so much more going on. With fly! not only are little readers treated to a book that is visually stunning, they also are invited to get involved in the story in a meaningful and multisensory way.
More books in the touch think learn series from Xavier Deneux & Chronicle Books:
Source: Review Copy