My Very First 100 Words

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Mar. 2022. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665901161.
Baby-Toddler–What this book is not: “Max and Ruby Learn Some Words.” Wells has deconstructed and then composed a tidy, efficient version of how she believes children learn language in 100 words, more or less. This book includes pages of truncated nursery rhymes and concept pages of a few colors, for example, or a version of opposites (a dirty kitten next to a wet one, above a dry one and a clean one—which is the order in which a dirty child would become clean, after all). But there is more, in glimpses of prepositions, such as the rain falling “on the grass / on the tree / on the roof / not on me!” (because of an umbrella). There is much to be discussed in this book, which is part of learning, and readers of every age will find more to explore with each pass. The cast is comprised of Wells’s jolly animals, dressed in gingham or straw hats, and three humans, with various hues of brown skin and one using a wheelchair. Wells has curated McGuffey and Mother Goose into a condensed exhibition that delivers so much more than the “100 Words” the title suggests.
VERDICT This is already a perfect new mother’s present, but it’s also ideal for baby-toddler collections. A gratifying book to hand to new parents, the nursery rhymes alone will point readers to more great books.

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