What Kiddies Do
by Janet Vanatko
Genre: Children’s / Board Book
Print Length: 14 pages
Reviewed by Toni Woodruff
A kid-focused board book about having fun, doing activities, and playing with friends
Talk with your toddler about their little life in this fun nonfiction board book about the creativity and interests of other kids. Since this book is filled with pictures of real children instead of illustrations, it allows your toddler to daydream about the names and lives of these kids as well as using that curiosity to fuel their future interactions with other kids in the real world.
What do kiddies do? Author Janet Vanatko focuses on some of the most wholesome and relatable aspects of the nature of children, like their interest in nature (with pictures of watching rain run down a window & butterflies landing in our hands) and critical thinking, hands-on activities like playing with legos and playing guitar. I also love that many pictures include multiple children, exercising their minds on what friendship looks like and what friends can do together.
My toddler had a birthday recently (woohoo!), and I noticed just as she was about to blow out her candle, we haven’t talked about what a wish is yet! Maybe it’s complicated for toddlers, maybe not, but I got excited about the prospect of using the picture in here of a child blowing dandelion seeds to talk about what a wish is and how it can relate to her life & imagination.
In addition to showing photos of toddlers, there are also a few photos of bigger kids (but not much bigger), which is always a big hit for my forward-thinking, older cousin loving toddler.
The primary drawback here is that the aesthetic nature of the book feels a little lacking. I do like that they’re real kids, but they do appear mostly as stock photos, staged to fit a particular purpose. The rhymes are strong and informative for most of the pages of this book, but I did do some stumbling over the rhyme that ends it all.
If your child is interested in other kids, this could be one they get attached to. Children like to mirror the things they see from others—and they like to fit in with them, too!—so having a book like this around, speaking specifically about all the things children their age and older do, could prove helpful to them in operating their little lives.
What Kiddies Do is the type of board book nonfiction I like. It helps eager minds take leaps in their real world and show others that they’ve been paying attention.
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