Review Blog

Jan 14 2019

Learn with Ruby Red Shoes series by Kate Knapp

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Harper Collins Publishers, 2018.
ABC Alphabet Book. ISBN: 9781460756904
123 Counting Book. ISBN: 9781460756911
(Ages: 1-5) Recommended. Rhyming Books, Counting, Alphabet. 'Ruby Red Shoes is a white hare who loves to learn. Hop along with Ruby and her chickens as they learn . . . ' These small books pack a big punch with their gorgeous and intricate illustrations. They have an old- world feel which makes them warm and wholesome. Even if you are not familiar with the other Ruby Red Shoes books you will probably recognise the style of the illustrations from Kate Knapp's Twigseeds range of cards and stationery. They are delicate with detailed patterns that give each page an incredible depth and richness. They are also beautifully written.
In ABC there is no theme to the words used for each letter of the alphabet, ranging from angels to eggs to ice to stairs and yellow. However, they are all about things that are warm or comforting (a yummy breakfast to start us on our way, the home where you feel blessed, ice- skating with friends on a winter's night, comforting jam on toast and cosy pyjamas that keep you warm through the night). The randomness makes it interesting to turn each page and there is no set pattern to the text either; some pages are long, some are short. The focus letter of each page is in a large capital.
In 123 each number from one to twelve has a double page spread. One page has the number as a figure, as a number and pictures of the thing being counted (e.g., one Ruby Red Shoes). The opposite page has a short rhyme such as 'Two is for us. That's me and you. One plus one is equal to two. Two of anything is also a pair, like the shiny red shoes that I love to wear'. Again, everything is warm and comforting: washing flapping on the line as Ruby lies down for a nap on the lawn, warm, ripe peaches being picked from the tree and buttons holding together a warm jacket to keep out the chill. The last pages show all the number words and digits and there is also a counting activity.
These are sweet and timeless little books that are sure to be treasured and passed down.
Nicole Nelson

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