cover image Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five

Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five

Valorie Fisher. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86865-8

Fisher (The Fantastic 5 & 10%C2%A2 Store) gives preschoolers a leg up on need-to-know information in this energetic collection. In candy-colored multimedia collages, built with dollhouse-size toys and yard-sale bric-a-brac, she presents such topics as weather, seasons, and numbers up to 20 (from 11 on, she lines up color- coded marbles). In a section on opposites, two dolls stand with arms wide to demonstrate an "easy" stance, while another pair takes the same position%E2%80%94on their heads%E2%80%94for "hard"; one petite doll stands behind an actual-size green plastic frog for "push," while another demonstrates "pull" with a string. Animal figurines pose with shapes (star, heart, circle); blocks spell the names of colors, topped by molded dinosaurs and rubber duckies. An upper- and lower-case alphabet rounds out the book, with Fisher meticulously arranging a pink flamingo and plastic fork for F, teeny teacups for T, and a yo-yo for Y. Considering all the titles on just one of these topics, these vintage/tacky photo-spreads are worth several books in one, even as they display the vast potential in rummage sales and vending machines. Ages 1%E2%80%935. (July)