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PBS Kids Board Books Review by Donna Campos

Feeling Happy: A Turn-and-learn Emotions Book by Weiss/Jourdan
Hide and Peek: A Lift-a-flap Letters Book by Gerstein/Bennett
Imagination Vacation: A Color-foil Shapes Book by Gerstein/Bennett
Fruit Salad: a Touch-and-learn Book by Weiss/Jourdan
The Great Cake: A Touch-and-learn Book by Gerstein/Bennett
Various Authors/Illustrators as listed above
Brighter Minds Children's Publishing
600 Lakeview Plaza Blvd., Suite D
Worthington, Ohio 43085

These are sturdy board books for children ages 3-5, with the exception of Feeling Happy, which is for children ages 0-3. The vivid and colorful pages are filled with characters your child may already be acquainted with if you watch PBS broadcasting (Shu-shu, Spike, Marcella, Peabody, Penelope, Abby, Hideki, and Bonaparte, among others). Each book can be purchased separately. Together, the five books make an adorable set for young children. The books are designed for read-aloud-time with small children, and each one includes a Review page and an Ideas page for Parents and Caregivers in the back. The reader is encouraged to ask questions throughout the reading and to direct the child to find different items, notice various colors or shapes, open flaps, etc.

Though these books were not specifically designed for homeschool use, they are certainly appropriate for the homeschool environment. For children who thrive on interaction or who struggle to pay attention during reading sessions, these books may be especially helpful. Older children will enjoy reading to younger ones as there are interesting things to do within each book.

These books are truly adorable. Our toddler definitely enjoyed them, and I think they would even be appropriate for infants. The books measure almost nine inches square--a nice size that is easy to grasp, even with children touching and exploring the pages. They are sturdy enough for regular use, although the lift-a-flap Hide and Peek book may show wear and tear after extended use. We happened to enjoy the Hide and Peek book the most; it covers all twenty-six letters of the alphabet and features cute rhymes describing hidden items starting with each letter. Even our 7-year-old enjoyed this book because of the rhyming guessing games involved. The illustrations are interesting and easy to understand.

I didn't really find anything negative in these books, other than the fact that if you are not a television-watching family you may not be acquainted with the characters. We had no idea who these characters were, but the overall appeal of the books kept us reading along anyway.

We found these books fun and inviting, and they were picked out of the reading basket repeatedly at our house. The price is reasonable for educational board books that include turning wheels, fold-out flaps, etc. These would make great gifts for young children.

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2006