Playtime Engineering

MIT Kids. (Big Science for Tiny Tots). Sept. 2023. 24p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781536230963.
Baby-Toddler–Step aside animal-focused board books: Playtime Engineering has arrived! With vibrant photographs of diverse babies and their parents, this title is sure to be a hit with littles who love other baby faces. This introductory STEAM title is designed for young ones who are able to push up or into a crawling position, sit with support (used to introduce the concept of brackets) as well as build and destroy towers. The book is very positive and encouraging in tone yet recognizes the reality that babies will be chewing on the blocks as part of building a tower. The text pages are solid lime or aqua background with goldenrod text boxes and feature black text. The babies pictured throughout convey various emotions via facial expressions. Through the text, babies are encouraged to take action to position themselves (push up, reach out, etc.) or engage with blocks. These actions are related to basic engineering terms such as bearing, base, and materials. The conclusion encourages families to introduce science to babies and toddlers, and to foster their curiosity as well as hinting at possible future titles.
VERDICT Like other recent MIT forays into board books, this is a must-purchase for libraries looking to buy STEAM titles for the very youngest child.

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